What factors contribute to the long-term success of dental implants?

Dental implants are intended to be a permanent solution for tooth loss, and in most cases, that is true. However, a small amount of implants do eventually fail. Certain factors can contribute to the success of dental implants.

The longevity of a dental implant is due to the fact that the titanium fuses with the jawbone, in a process called osseointegration. In order for osseointegration to take place, the patient must have a sufficient amount of bone to support it.

This can become an issue in patients who already have significant jawbone erosion, which takes place after the teeth’s roots are no longer present to anchor the bone. For example, bone loss can be extensive in long-term denture wearers.

Even in the face of bone loss, patients still can move forward with dental implants, though. If necessary, the oral surgeon can perform a bone graft prior to dental implant placement. This preliminary surgery allows the surgeon to take bone from elsewhere in the body, typically the chin or hip, and insert it at the implant site.

In addition to having enough bone, the patient must have characteristics that promote the healing process as osseointegration unfolds. Uncontrolled gum disease results in inflammation that can compromise the healing process, so patients should be treated for periodontal disease before getting dental implants.

Smoking can also lead to dental implant failure, so dental implant patients should develop a smoking cessation plan prior to implant placement.

The quality of the dental implant can also influence its success. Cheaper implants made of lower quality materials may be more likely to fail. Be sure that you are receiving an appliance made by a manufacturer with a good reputation.

Dental implants appeal to many patients because of the long list of advantages over other tooth replacement options. They are more stable, attractive and functional. Nonetheless, it’s important to make sure that your investment will last before pursuing dental implants. Contact Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center to learn about your chances of implant success and what steps you may need to take to improve those chances.

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