How you can play your role in ensuring a successful dental implant procedure

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Dental implants are one of the most effective ways of replacing a missing tooth. When properly taken care of, your implant can last for decades without requiring replacement.

Many patients don't realise that they play an essential role in ensuring the success of their dental implant. Simple practices such as proper dental hygiene and eating the right diet can help your implant remain in good shape for many years to come. Here's how you can ensure that your dental implant procedure, at a clinic like Enfield Dental Clinic, yields healthy results for the long term.

1. Have any pre-existing conditions treated

A successful implant procedure begins even before it's put in place. Remember that dental implants are surgically placed into your jawbone. Therefore, you need healthy teeth and jaws to support your new implant.

Conditions such as periodontal disease, tooth decay, and a weak jaw may affect the success of your dental implant procedure. Make sure you clearly communicate any such conditions to your dentist before undergoing surgery (such conditions typically need to be treated before the implant is put in place). And for patients with a weak jaw, bone grafting may be necessary to strengthen the area so it can support the root of an implant.

2. Avoid smoking in the days before and after surgery

If you usually smoke, you may need to put away the cigarettes for a few days before and after surgery. Smoking can affect your teeth and interfere with the surgical process. For example, the chemicals in a cigarette can deposit on your implant area and cause irritation when the implant is put in place.

If this occurs, the procedure may need to be repeated to address any pain and discomfort. Smoking also affects your oral health in many different ways. When preparing for surgery, it's advisable to put the cigarettes away until after the implant is fully healed.

3. Practice proper oral hygiene

Having a missing tooth in the mouth often causes challenges in oral hygiene. However, you still need to maintain a high level of oral care even after an implant is inserted. Accumulation of plaque and germs may cause infections in your teeth and in the tissues that support your implant. Such infections weaken the stability of the implant and may eventually cause it to become loose (and to fall off).

To limit this risk, make sure you brush and floss your teeth often. Also, make sure you use the right oral care products (such as toothpaste that is high in fluoride).

4. Eat the right foods

Finally, make sure you maintain a healthy diet that supports your teeth and jaws. Eat foods rich in protein and calcium to strengthen your enamel and jawbone.