Long Lasting Results From Your Dental Implants
Although implants have a high success rate, you can help make it even higher!
Although they have now been around for over fifty years or more, many people are still unfamiliar with dental implants. Indeed, just a quick overview of them might put some people off having them due to the fact that they are placed into the jawbone. This may sound really painful, but the reality is quite different.
With modern dentistry and advances in the manufacture of implants, the procedure is now becoming increasingly popular, and as more people have them, word has spread that they offer a great alternative to dentures and the procedure really isn’t too bad at all. This is very true, especially in light of the long term benefits.
One of the appeals of dental implants is that the success rate of the procedure is very high and you can be quite confident of success. That doesn’t mean that they can’t fail though, or that problems can’t arise later on. In nearly all cases however, where this does occur, it is because the patient hasn’t followed the correct aftercare advice and the health of the implant has been compromised. With that in mind, here is some advice for our Ipswich patients to help them get the best from the procedure, and long lasting success from their implant investment.
The first thing that we would say is that we advise you to avoid travelling abroad for cheaper dental implants. There are many reasons for this and we have covered them in a previous blog here. In summary, there are a lot of potential risks involved in this approach and we advise you to use a UK dentist with experience in placing implants, such as those in our team here at the Foxhall Dental Practice.
Although dental implants can be placed for most people, and in fact are often placed for older patients, it is a good idea to get a little fitter before your procedure. This will help the blood flow throughout the body, including around you new implant and help to keep it healthier by reducing the risk of infections. You don’t need to join a gym but try to walk or cycle a little more. Every little helps.
Cigarettes and alcohol
Both before and after your implant placement, you will be asked to refrain from smoking and excessive drinking. This is not an ‘ideal’ but a necessity. Both smoking and excessive drinking greatly heighten the risk of dental implant failure and not just through the risk of periodontal disease. If you really can’t kick these habits at least for a six month period or so (and preferably forever), then you may wish to look at other tooth replacement options instead, such as dentures or a bridge.
Prepare your new diet
Once your dental implants have completed the osseointegration period, where the bone and implant bond together, you will be free to eat whatever you want without worrying if your new implant can handle it. Initially though, you will need to eat a quite selective diet.
In the period directly after your implant placement you will only be able to eat very soft foods, and we would suggest initially, even just sticking to liquid foods. Putting any pressure on a new implant could cause damage to the bone and potentially cause the implant to fail. This dietary restriction doesn’t last long though and very soon you will be able to add foods such as mashed potatoes and well cooked pasta to your diet, gradually building up over a few months towards a normal, complete diet.
A quick look on a popular online retailer’s website shows that there are a fair number of soft food cookbooks available. You may find that you can make this period more fun than it sounds with a little creative cooking!
Brush up on your oral healthcare
Like natural teeth, dental implants require regular and thorough care. The good news for any of our Ipswich patients considering this procedure is that it doesn’t require anything that you shouldn’t currently do with your natural teeth. Having said that, before you have your implant placement, it is a good idea to look at how you are cleaning your teeth at the moment. Bear in mind that if you have gum disease, this may delay your implant placement whilst it is treated.
Are you brushing correctly and with a suitable toothbrush? You should be using a brush that is no more than three months old (or before if the bristles are worn) for at least two minutes both morning and last thing at night.
Are you rinsing with water after brushing? If you are, you should stop doing so. Allowing the toothpaste to remain on the teeth and gums afterwards helps to ward off decay and gum disease.
Are you using dental floss? If not, you need to get into the habit of doing this. Removing food and bacteria from between the teeth is essential for a healthy dental implant. Both periodontitis and peri-implantitis are serious threats to a dental implant.
Are you seeing a dental hygienist? If you aren’t, now is the time to start doing so. It is a great way to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible, both through their advice on better home care and also the scale and polish (professional cleaning) that they provide. If you aren’t already, please book your appointment with us today.
Dental implants are ‘the’ modern way to replace a missing tooth, or teeth. We do understand that patients may wish to know more about them, including the procedure and their aftercare, so we are always happy to discuss this with you. Accordingly, the Foxhall Dental Practice offers a free initial dental implant consultation for this purpose. You can arrange yours by calling our Ipswich practice on 01473 258396. We look forward to introducing you to this revolutionary lost tooth replacement treatment!