If you're considering getting full-mouth implants instead of traditional dentures, you probably like the fact that they provide far better functionality than regular dentures. Because they're attached to implants that take the place of the roots of your teeth, you won't have to worry about embarrassing incidents such as them slipping during a family meal or when dining in a restaurant with friends.
Dental implants can sometimes last for a lifetime. The implants themselves are made from titanium because the material is lightweight, durable, and offers superior biocompatibility with human bone tissue than other types of materials. However, if bone or gum tissue becomes compromised, the implants may fail, which means they'll have to be surgically removed. For this reason, it's essential to keep the gum and bone tissues in which the implants have been installed strong and healthy. Here's what you need to know about keeping making your dental implants last as long as possible.
One of the most important factors of whether your implants will last a long time is your ability to make a strong commitment to a good oral hygiene routine. Some people believe that because implants are prosthetic teeth that are not made up of living tissue, keeping them clean isn't as important as it was with their living counterparts. However, it's essential that you brush and floss at least twice per day in order to prevent the buildup of bacteria on both the implants and the gums.
Dental implants are made from composite resin or porcelain, so you should also use a toothpaste designed for use on these materials rather than one that's for natural teeth. Tooth cleaning preparations for prosthetic teeth are low-abrasive as well as fluoride-free. Your dentist may also suggest you try an at-home dental irrigation system and finish off your oral hygiene routine with an antibacterial mouthwash and rinse your mouth after meals and beverages during the middle of the day when you aren't at home.
Diet is another important consideration when striving to promote implant longevity. It's only common sense to limit or completely stay away from sticky foods, beverages containing significant amounts of sugar and sodium, and hard candy, nuts, or other food that may cause damage to the prosthetic teeth. However, what you eat is also important because the implants need strong, healthy bone tissue in order to last, and including plenty of calcium in your diet helps this happen. Dairy products, dark green vegetables such as broccoli, and certain citrus fruits such as oranges are all rich in calcium. You should also ask your dentist about taking a calcium supplement if you suspect you may not get enough of this vital mineral through your daily diet.
Although most people are good candidates for dental implants, failure rates rise when certain health conditions are present — particularly Type II diabetes or cancer. Cancer patients who are receiving chemotherapy in the form of radiation to the head or neck area as a part of their treatment plan are at high risk of implant failure because the radiation temporarily weakens bone tissues.
Although type II diabetes doesn't automatically disqualify you from having dental implants installed, your dentist will likely suggest other options if you have late-stage diabetes or if your condition isn't under control. Diabetics take longer to heal, and this may lead to complications after implant surgery.
It's also essential to be on the lookout for signs of implant failure so that you can seek dental attention as quickly as possible. Signs include painful, swollen gums, difficulty chewing food, and the implants or the prosthetic teeth becoming loose. Always ask your dentist if you notice anything unusual.
To learn more about dental implants, contact a local dentist.