Posted on: 12 January 2016Share
Dental implants are prosthetic teeth that are used to replace natural teeth that have been lost from decay or trauma. An implant, is surgically placed inside the jawbone of the patient, where it fuses with the bone through a healing process called osseointegration. Once the implant has properly healed and stabilized, in cases of a single-tooth replacement, it can be topped by an abutment and a dental crown. However, in instances where there are multiple teeth missing, the dental implant may serve to stabilize a dental bridge or an overdenture.
Still, a dental implant is only effective if it heals well after the surgical installation. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for a successful dental implant:
Smoking is not only bad for your lung health; it affects the rate at which wounds heal. People who smoke are also likely to have less oxygen present in their blood stream and even circulation around a wound can be compromised.
Your implant surgery will create a wound in your bone, gums and supporting soft tissues. If the wound does not heal properly, your implant may never stabilize, and your surgery may fail. It is important to stop smoking at least a few months before your implant surgery.
Control your blood sugar.
If you are a diabetic, as long as your blood sugar remains stable, your chance of implant failure is no higher than that of a person without diabetes. However, if your blood sugar remains uncontrolled, it can increase your risk of infection and make it difficult for your surgical wound to heal.
If you do have diabetes, be sure to take your medication as prescribed and follow the dietary recommendations of your doctor. In addition, take the antibiotics prescribed by your dentist as directed to help lower your risk of infection.
Don't drink alcohol excessively.
Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to poor vitamin and mineral absorption, increased interactions with anesthesia medications and dehydration. Alcohol can even make it difficult for your blood to clot, so it is best to avoid heavy drinks in the weeks prior to and after your surgery
If you are planning to have a dental implant installed, it is important to limit factors that can increase your chance of implant failure. Schedule a consultation with your dentist to learn ways to help avoid complications. He or she will be able to advise you based on your individual needs.