Great Neck patients who choose dental implants are relying on a tooth replacement method that has the potential to endure for decades. However, dental implants must go through a complex process in which they osseointegrate, or become incorporated into the jawbone. If any problems arise in that process, the implant could fail.
Even after the implant has fused with the jaw bone, any erosion of that bone could jeopardize the implant. Additionally, if the implant is dislocated by oral trauma or some other significant force to the mouth, the implant might be rejected.
Fortunately, the vast majority of patients do not have any problems with their dental implants. In fact, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons says that implants have a 95 percent overall success rate. Recent advances in research and dental technology have boosted that success rate.
Several factors, nearly all of which are preventable, can contribute to implant failure. Smoking is considered to be the biggest risk factor, as the nicotine decreases available oxygen in the bone. Oxygen is essential to the osseointegration process.
A patient must also have sufficient bone to accommodate the implant. Sometimes when a patient’s teeth have been missing for a long time, there is significant recession of the bone. In such cases, the implant could fail if a bone graft is not performed first to provide supplemental bone.
Of course, a successful dental implant depends on the patient’s contributions, too. As noted earlier, a patient should stop smoking, if only during the active osseointegration process, to optimize the chances of success. Even a regular oral hygiene routine can help to preserve implants by warding off gum disease that can damage the jaw bone.
If you have recently received implants, ask Dr. Stephen Weisglass, an implant dentist serving Great Neck, what steps you can take to ensure that your new replacement teeth last for years.
After your implants are placed, it is important to keep all of your follow-up appointments with your implant dentist. These appointments will give Dr. Weisglass an opportunity to spot any problems early, when they can be more easily resolved.