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Life After Dental Implants: What You Need to Know

Dental Implant
If you are missing some of your teeth due to injury or decay or currently have a dental bridge or dentures, dental implants are an excellent option to permanently restore your smile. When a dentist installs your dental implants, they surgically attach a metal frame to your jawbone. Your dentist then attaches your new teeth to this metal frame.

Dental implants are a popular alternative because they last for decades, help preserve and stimulate bone growth, and feel just like your real teeth. Read on to learn important information about life with dental implants.

Dental Implants Have a Small Chance of Failing

Though dental implants are relatively low risk, there is a small chance that your implant will fail. Failure would mean that the implant fails to properly adhere to the jawbone or disconnects from the jawbone after initially successfully attaching.

To prevent your implant from failing, you must maintain a high level of oral hygiene and take steps to treat any existing gum conditions (including gum disease or gingivitis). If you smoke, it is time to quit. Chemicals from your cigarette interfere with the body's healing process, which could increase the risk that your implant site doesn't heal correctly.

This problem also applies to uncontrolled blood sugar levels; they create an environment that makes it hard for the body to heal. If you suffer from diabetes, you need to take steps to stabilize your blood sugar as much as possible before getting dental implants.

Your dentist also needs to check that you have enough natural jawbone to secure the implant frame. If your jaw bone mass is insufficient, you can undergo a bone augmentation procedure to increase your bone levels, or you may opt for an implant that adheres to the gums instead of the jawbone. Your dentist can help you decide what alternative is best for your situation.

If your implant fails soon after your initial surgery, your dentist can remove the implant, add a bone graft to your jawbone, and reattach the implant once the graft heals. The entire process takes a few months. 

Implants that fail after the healing process is complete typically do so due to a chronic gum infection known as peri-implantitis. You must treat the gum infection and restore the lost bone to install a new implant.

You Don't Need to Permanently Alter Your Diet

One of the benefits of dental implants is that you don't have to change your diet like you do with dentures or if you are missing teeth. This means that you can enjoy any foods that are often difficult to eat with dentures, such as popcorn, whole apples, corn on the cob, and sticky desserts.

Make sure that you continue to brush and floss your teeth to remove leftover food particles. Even though your implants will not decay, bacteria from plaque will negatively impact your gum health.

Your Implants May Affect Future MRIs

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning is a non-invasive procedure used to create in-depth images of the body's internal organs and tissues. Doctors may order an MRI scan to detect heart problems, screen for cancer, check for injuries, or evaluate organ health. During the scan, a large magnet works in conjunction with radio waves and a computer to examine any areas of concern.

If you have magnetized metal in your body, the MRI machine may displace the metal. Though dental implants do use metal, most implants do not use ferromagnetic materials affected by MRI machines. Check with your dentist if you are unsure what materials your implant consists of.

The metal in your implant can obscure your results if your doctor orders an MRI of your jaw area. Make sure your doctor knows about your implant to ensure accurate interpretation of your MRI images.

Don't let missing teeth or ill-fitting dentures keep you from smiling. Schedule an appointment with Grant/Moana Dental Offices today to address all of your dental concerns.