If you’re considering investing in dental implants, you’ll be thrilled to know that they offer the best return on investment of any type of tooth replacement treatment. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly 98% of today’s Richmond & Katy Tx dental implants will last for the life of the patient. No other restorative option can offer results like that! Today, over 3 million people have dental implants.
Sound too good to be true? When it comes to ensuring that your implant lasts as long as possible, there are a few factors worth considering:
Pre-Existing Conditions & Lifestyle Choices
One of the biggest factors that impact the long-term success of your dental implants is if there are any underlying medical, health, or lifestyle conditions to consider.
For instance, if you’re a smoker, have diabetes, or are taking a particular type of medication like a blood thinner, there are extra precautions that may need to be taken. Your overall healing time may take longer as well. Grand Parkway Smiles will communicate closely with your family medical provider as necessary to ensure all proper measures are taken for a successful implant procedure.
Before starting any type of implant therapy or other dental treatment, our Richmond Tx. dentists will conduct a thorough medical screening on every patient. This isn’t just essential for invasive treatment but can also aid in better overall oral health and diagnosis of secondary/underlying conditions where symptoms present themselves in the mouth.
If you’re getting dental implants after going an extended period of time with missing teeth, or following severe gum disease, we’ll also need to assess your bone health and quantity. Bone loss is a primary determining factor as to whether or not you qualify for implants and how successful the treatment will be. We will need to make sure there’s enough bone to support the implant — and place a graft if needed — so that the restorations will be stable and heal properly. Otherwise it could place the future of your new smile in jeopardy.
Maintenance and Home Care
You’ll need to care for your dental implants the same way (if not better than) you would your natural teeth. That includes daily flossing, gentle brushing at least twice a day, and managing any issues such as bruxism/grinding.
While dental implants can’t get cavities, the gums and bone around them can become infected and develop gingivitis or peri-implantitis (the implant form of gum disease) if plaque levels are not controlled. Like traditional periodontitis, the gums start to develop inflammation and redness, leading to tissue detachment and bone loss. In such instances, the infection can cause your dental implants to fail completely as they loosen and lose support.
Brush gently along the gumlines, focusing on just one or two implants at a time. An electric toothbrush can be quite helpful.
Floss around your implant similar to how you would natural teeth; wrap the floss in a “C” shape against the restoration and slide it gently up and down under the gums. If you have an implant supported bridge or denture, you will need to use a special threader to thread the floss underneath the fixed prosthesis in order to clean hard to reach areas.
Water flossers can be used in lieu of traditional floss and are especially useful if dexterity is a concern or there are multiple-tooth restorations involved (bridges and dentures) that need to be cleaned underneath. Our Richmond Tx. dentists can show you how to use a water flosser effectively so that it’s actually more effective than using conventional floss.
Just like with natural teeth, you should schedule a checkup at Summit Dental Center at least every six months even if all of your teeth have been replaced with dental implants. During your visit, our Houston dentists will perform a thorough exam and evaluation of the supporting structures, ensuring that your implants are as stable as possible. You’ll also need a professional cleaning to safely remove any calcified tartar and plaque deposits along the implant surface, maintaining a healthy environment that’s easier for you to clean on a day-to-day basis.
Since titanium can be scratched (and then harbor microscopic bacteria) you’ll want to make sure that you’re seeing a dentist with special tools that do not damage the surface of your implants. At Grand Parkway Smiles we have specific setups with implant-friendly materials that can safely clean your restorations in a thorough manner.
An extensive amount of research has been done on the types of materials used in dental implant therapy. It’s essential that in addition to being durable, implants are both biocompatible and osseointegration-friendly. When they are, it allows the body to accept the new “tooth root” as a part of your natural bite, forming new bone around it and fusing the implant permanently into place.
Titanium is typically the implant material of choice, as it’s hypoallergenic and successfully used in medical procedures such as joint replacement. However, newer implant designs are also featuring tooth colored ceramics, allowing for better aesthetics in areas where visibility is a concern; for example, a front tooth with minor gum recession where titanium might create a dark grey line against the gums, just below the crown.
A Smile That Lasts for Life
Choosing to replace your missing teeth with dental implants is a great investment in your smile’s future. To find out if you’re a candidate for traditional or alternative implant designs, schedule a no-pressure consultation with one of our experienced implant providers in the Richmond, Katy and Fulsher area. Grand Parkway Smiles offers flexible financing plans and accepts all PPO dental insurance plans. Call us today to get started!