If you're missing at least one tooth, you are likely a candidate for dental implants. Dental implants are a safe and effective way to restore your smile and regain your ability to chew all your favorite foods. Implants offer several advantages over other methods of tooth replacement. They don't need to be periodically removed for sleep and cleaning, unlike dentures. Unlike dental bridges, implants will not require you to have crowns placed over your healthy teeth. However, getting dental implants does require oral surgery. Here are four things you can do to encourage healing and ensure the success of your dental implant procedure.
1. Avoid smoking.
You should avoid smoking directly before your dental implant procedure and during the healing process. After your surgery, your dentist will place sutures in your mouth to aid healing. Your own natural blood clots are vital for the healing process. Smoking can cause these blood clots to be dislodged, leading to a painful dry socket. Avoid smoking until your dentist tells you it's safe to resume the habit. If possible, you should quit smoking for good, since it has negative effects on your overall oral health.
2. Keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Dental implants are placed in your jawbone through your gums. Due to this placement, your gum health affects the longevity of your dental implants. Gum infections make your body more likely to reject your implant. You can prevent infection and gum disease by taking proper care of your teeth. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and lightly massage your gums with your toothbrush bristles. Regular flossing can prevent bacteria from building up in the pockets below your gums.
3. Avoid chewing overly hard foods.
Tooth prostheses are typically crafted from a mixture of porcelain and metal. They are highly durable, but they can still be chipped or cracked due to rough treatment. You can prevent damage to your dental implants by not chewing overly hard foods. Be careful when you're eating meat not to accidentally bite into the bone and try not to bite into things like ice or popcorn kernels.
4. See your dentist at the first sign of trouble.
Your gums may be sore after your dental implant procedure is completed. Once your jawbone has healed around the titanium rod used for the implant process, your dentist will need to cut your gums open to place the prosthesis in place. However, you should feel better within a few days. If you notice redness, pus, or unusual pain around the implant site, you should see your dentist at once. You may need antibiotics to clear up an infection.
To learn more about dental implants, contact a clinic like Orange Door Dental Group