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Understanding the Possible Risk Factors for Dental Implant Failure

Dental implants placed at a clinic such as Family Dentistry & Implant Center have higher success rates than ever before due a better understanding of which factors are most important for preventing failure. Dentists are ready to answer any questions from people considering getting one or more implants to replace teeth that are already missing or that must be extracted.

Tobacco Smoking

Tobacco smokers must quit that habit before a dentist will perform an implant procedure since smoking is a significant risk factor for implant failure. The substances in the smoke are toxic to the oral structures and interfere with the implant rod integrating with the jawbone. They also cause gum disease and the gradual deterioration of cartilage and bone in the jaw.

Habitual Teeth Grinding

Habitual teeth grinding and clenching is another risk factor, as that frequent extra load on the implant can make it come loose. People may be able to overcome this habit if they only do it while awake, but some men and women grind their teeth while asleep. That activity can be very difficult to stop since the person isn’t even aware it’s happening. Dentists prescribe mouth guards for these patients to be worn while sleeping. However, it’s common for the patients to wake up every morning and find they have removed the guard in their sleep.

Osteoporosis: Probably Not a Risk Factor

Osteoporosis, which is relatively common in women after menopause, also can be problematic for dental implants. Osteoporosis causes a slower formation of new bone cells, which leads to gradual bone density loss as old cells are resorbed by the body. Older women are strongly encouraged to walk regularly, since that stimulates new bone growth, and may be advised to take calcium supplements.

Research published in the Biomedical and Pharmacology Journal reports that osteoporosis is not a reason for dentists to avoid placing implants in these patients as long as their oral health is good. The patients must be instructed about the importance of continuing with regular oral hygiene to keep the remaining teeth and the gum tissue healthy. Gum disease is a risk factor for implant failure.