Implants are becoming more popular. They help preserve your smile and allow you to chew, bite, and talk more effectively. Dentures and bridges were the preferred way to replace teeth, but sometimes they didn’t fit well or felt uncomfortable to wear. With implants, people who have lost a tooth or teeth because of tooth decay, periodontal disease, or trauma now have other options to replace their teeth.
Dental implants are screw-like devices inserted into the jawbone that serve as anchors for custom-made crowns. Dentists can customize these crowns to fit the individual’s mouth and match their teeth to make them look, feel, and function like natural teeth.
Are Implants Advantageous?
According to a dentist in South Pasadena FL, implants have many advantages over dentures, like:
- Enhanced chewing function
- Higher success rate
- Improved oral health
- More comfortable
- More natural-looking
- Lower risk of cavities development in the nearby teeth
- Greater bone preservation at the location of the missing tooth
- Easier to maintain and clean
- Increased self-esteem
Implant placement is a relatively simple procedure that licensed dentists and surgeons can perform. Your dentist can check your oral health to determine if your mouth is healthy enough for implants. They will also check your overall health to see if you are in peak condition to heal and if you have any conditions that may affect your implants. You must have strong bones since implants bond to the jawbone.
Are There Any Contraindications for Implants?
You must be in peak health to be a good candidate for implants. Your dentist or surgeon may not recommend implants if you have any acute illness, uncontrolled metabolic diseases, or conditions affecting your bones and soft tissues.
Sometimes, a surgeon may not perform surgery if a patient has:
- Behavior and psychiatric disorders
- Persistent smoking habits
- Parafunctional habits (teeth grinding or clenching)
These conditions make implants more likely to fail. Patients undergoing chemotherapy, bisphosphonate drug therapy, or radiation therapy to their head or neck also have an increased risk of experiencing implant complications.
Dental Implant Aftercare
Knowing how to care for dental implants is essential in maintaining their function, prolonging their life span, and improving your oral health.
Your dentist will discuss how to care for your implants before and after the procedure. You may also need to modify your eating habits and oral care routine, and you will likely feel discomfort, pain, swelling, and tenderness after the surgery. Don’t worry; this is normal and not a cause for panic.
These are some things you should do after the procedure.
- Bite down on gauze, cotton balls, or sponges to control the bleeding.
- Keep your head up and avoid strenuous activity for the first twelve hours after the surgery.
- Use an ice pack every 15 minutes, or as often as necessary, to reduce swelling.
- Take your medications as prescribed by your dentist.
- Avoid chewing by only consuming soft foods within the next 24 hours.
- Don’t rinse your mouth in the next 24 hours following the surgery.
You can also have someone come with you to the dentist. After the procedure, let them drive you home.
Tips for Daily Implant Care
Daily care for your implants will help them last and serve you for a long time. Some tips to remember in caring for them include:
1. Use soft-bristled toothbrushes.
Switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush after implant placement is a good idea. Avoid brushing too hard and using a toothbrush with hard bristles; they can scratch the implant’s surface and may be too harsh for your implants, natural teeth, and gums.
2. Avoid abrasive dental products.
Your toothbrush isn’t the only thing you may need to replace. You may also need to use toothpaste or mouthwash formulated for sensitivity. Otherwise, using abrasive products may result in extreme discomfort.
You should also avoid products with strong flavors.
3. Avoid sticky and hard foods.
Some foods can be difficult to chew and cause unnecessary stress on your implants and other teeth. These include:
- Potato chips
- Dried fruits
4. Avoid smoking and alcohol.
It takes approximately six months for your implants to heal. Smoking and drinking alcohol during this time is dangerous since they can slow down the healing process; it’s best to avoid them to make sure your implants don’t fail.
5. Visit your dentist regularly.
Regularly visiting your dentist benefits your whole mouth, not just your implants. Dentists perform regular dental cleanings that help keep your oral health in prime condition, helping your implants and natural teeth last longer.
Implants are one of the best ways to replace missing teeth. Unlike dentures or bridges, implants are more comfortable, natural-looking, and easier to clean. They also improve oral health, chewing and biting function, and reduce the risk of cavities.
However, people with metabolic disorders, weak bones, infections, acute illnesses, and behavioral problems may not be good candidates for implants. Follow your dentist’s or surgeon’s instructions after the surgery to keep your implants from failing. Daily care is also important if you want your new implants to last long. Avoid smoking, drinking, and eating hard or sticky foods. You should also use a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid using dental hygiene products with abrasive ingredients. Lastly, visit your dentist regularly so they can monitor your implants and keep your oral health in peak condition.