A dental implant is a great way to replace a lost tooth. Instead of only replacing the crown of the missing tooth, a dental implant restoration also replaces the dental root.
During the installation of a dental implant, the titanium rod or screw that will serve as the prosthetic root is embedded into the jawbone. There, it connects to the bone over time through a fusion process called osseointegration. Once the implant has become secure, an abutment can be added, and the implant can be covered by a dental crown.
If a tooth-colored crown is selected for the restoration the dental implant will look like your other natural teeth. Although the vast majority of dental implant restorations are successful, an implant can fail under certain avoidable conditions. Here are a few of these instances:
If an implant is moved due to a blow to the mouth or bite pressure, it will no longer be stabilized within the jawbone. The shifting of the implant from its position will necessitate the placement of a new dental implant.
Although some implant trauma is unavoidable, many instances can be avoided if proper precautions are taken. For instance, if you regularly play contact sports, it is important to wear a protective guard for your mouth. A severe blow from a ball or another player's elbow could move your dental implant out of place.
Additionally, if you regularly clench your teeth or suffer from nightly bruxism, it is important to wear your mouth guard. The guards used for bruxism tend to be soft and shock absorbent. Although the force from an episode of clenching or grinding the teeth may seem harmless, it can be severe enough to shift your implant out of position or even crack the dental crown of your implant.
Gum disease can often be avoided through proper dental hygiene efforts. Although gum disease may start off as a mild case of gingivitis, if efforts to clean the mouth of plaque and bacteria are not exercised, the condition can progress Periodontitis, which is a severe form of gum disease that can result in bone loss. Since the dental implant is secured within the bone of the jaw, if bone loss does occur, the implant can become unstable in its place and may fail.
If you have an implant and are diagnosed with gum disease, be sure to follow all of the instructions provided by your dentist to improve your gum health quickly.
To learn more about dental implants and how to prevent their failure, schedule an appointment with an implant dentist in your area, like Cazes Family Dentistry LLC.