If you want a dental implant, then your artificial tooth is likely to be quite successful. In general, dental implant success rates are around 98%. The ability of your dental implant to remain in your mouth for a long period of time depends on how well the implant root attaches to the jaw. The attachment occurs during osseointegration where new bone cells grow around the metal root. Failed osseointegration will lead to a dental implant that is loose, and the root may need to be removed from the jaw. There are several things that can cause osseointegration failure. Keep reading to understand a few causes so you can avoid them.
Opting Out Of A Bone Graft
When you lose a tooth, your body will fill in the empty tooth socket with new bone cells so your body retains a solid jaw under the gums. If this happens correctly, then your oral surgeon will be able to secure a dental implant in the newly formed bone. However, the open socket will not always fill in. For example, the tooth socket may not form new cells if there is not enough calcium and other minerals to form new bone. If your dental implant needs to be placed towards the upper front of the mouth, then the jaw bone may naturally be thin in this area as well. Thin bone material may require the placement of a bone graft to thicken the bone for dental implant security.
Bone grafting is expensive, invasive, and it will substantially lengthen the implant placement process. You may be prepared for dental implant surgery and the healing time, but your budget may not allow for an extra $1,800 to $3,300 for a complex grafting procedure. However, if your initial implant surgery fails due to osseointegration issues, then you will need to foot the bill for the bone graft you initially opted out of and the cost of another implant root placement surgery.
If you want to keep costs down, then ask your dentist to forego bone grafting that uses your own bone material. This requires an added surgical procedure and more costs. Cadaver bone and bovine tissues are both good alternatives to your own bone, and they typically create a successful bone graft.
Loading The Implant Too Early
Some people are in a rush to receive their replacement teeth, and they will seek out dental professionals who are willing to load the implant root before full osseointegration has completed. If you bite down hard on the new tooth or accidentally hit it with some force, then this can knock the implant root out of place. This is why it is important to have the tooth secured after osseointegration has completed. It will take at least three months for osseointegration to complete. Make sure that you do not rush your dentist to secure your artificial tooth on the root until the bone healing process is over.
Before the tooth is added to the root, the top of the implant will be fitted with a cap called an abutment. The abutment protects the end of the implant root and it serves as an attachment for the tooth once osseointegration has completed. The abutment will stick out of the gums, so you will need to make sure that you do not place a great deal of pressure on the cap while the healing process takes place. Chew on the opposite side of the mouth from the abutment and stay away from extremely hard and crunchy foods for a few months.
If you play sports, then it is wise to wear a fairly substantial mouth guard as well to protect the abutment, jaw, and dental implant root. The best and most protective guards are ones made by your dentist to specifically fit your mouth, so speak with your dentist about making a guard for you.
For more information on dental implants, contact a dentist like Dale D. Lentz DDS.