Patients who are missing several teeth may benefit greatly from an implant-retained denture. Unlike traditional dentures, which may slip or slide around at inconvenient times, this method keeps the replacement teeth firmly in place. Dental implants are a great option — but infection can threaten their success. Keep reading to learn more about why it happens and how to keep your implant-retained dentures in Midland healthy.
About Dental Implants
Dental implants are small posts made out of titanium that are surgically implanted into the space where the missing tooth’s root was. When cared for properly, they can last for a lifetime. Dental implants have a high success rate, but some people do experience problems. Approximately 5 to 10 percent of dental implants fail — either soon after they are placed or many years later.
Why Dental Implants Fail
The most common cause of dental implant failure is called peri-implantitis, or infection that is often due to gum disease and poor oral hygiene. Smoking can also increase the risk of dental implant failure, as it inhibits your mouth’s ability to fight infection. When bacteria is allowed to build up around and inside the gum line, it causes inflammation and eats away at the bone tissue that supports the dental implant. The implant post may become loose and bothersome. If not treated promptly, it will eventually fall out.
What to do about Dental Implant Problems
If you start to notice that your implant denture is loosening or becoming uncomfortable, schedule an appointment with a dental implant dentist right away. Even if infection is present, it may be possible to halt peri-implantitis and rescue the implant denture by cleaning the area around the dental implants. If replacement of the dental implants is necessary, catching the problem sooner rather than later will prevent bone loss and help you enjoy a stable tooth replacement once again.
How to Protect Your Dental Implants
Some dental implant failures are beyond your control, but there are steps you can take to reduce that risk and help yours stay healthy and strong. These steps include the following:
- Practice good oral hygiene, brushing, flossing, and using an alcohol-free mouthwash
- Visit your dentist at least every six months, or as often as they recommend
- Avoid smoking and other habits that harm your overall health
- Eat a balanced, nutritious diet with plenty of calcium to support good bone health
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Robert E. Christensen is a dental implant dentist with decades of experience. He routinely takes on complex cases, including those related to dental implant infection in Midland. To learn more or to book an appointment, call the office at 432-219-2834.