Dental implants are the best tooth replacement option available because they are basically like your natural teeth. They don’t require any special care, allow you to eat all your favorite foods, and have the potential to last a lifetime. They also have a very high success rate, 95-99% in clinical studies.
However, there are some things that can impact the success of your dental implants, and it’s important to consider them when you are considering getting dental implants.
Smoking Increases Risk of Implant Failure
Smoking is probably the number one controllable factor that impacts the success rate of your dental implants. Depending on the study you look at, smoking may increase your risk of dental implant failure by 2-10 times.
Smoking reduces your blood supply to tissues such as your jawbone, which can make it harder for your bone to integrate the dental implant. Smoking also puts you at an increased risk for gum disease, which is the number one cause for tooth loss and for dental implant failure.
Diabetes Must Be Controlled
Uncontrolled diabetes can also put you at increased risk for dental implant failure. Again, the mechanism is gum disease. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you need to make sure you keep it under control during the osseointegration period, when the implant is being knit into your bone.
Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in childhood, but if you have not been diagnosed with diabetes, you may still have type 2 diabetes and should be tested for the condition if you have risk factors such as:
- Family history of diabetes
- Have African, American Indian, Asian, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic ancestry
- Have high blood pressure
- High levels of bad cholesterol
- Lack of exercise
This will help ensure that you can enjoy the best chance of dental implant success.
Radiation Therapy of the Head and Neck
If you have had certain cancers of the head or neck and have received radiation therapy of the head and neck, it may affect your body’s ability to integrate the dental implant.
Postmenopausal women may be at an increased risk for dental implant failure. Some studies suggest that estrogen may reduce this risk, but other studies suggest that estrogen replacement has no effect on dental implant survival.
Discuss Your Options
If you are considering dental implants, it’s important that you talk about your risk factors and decide whether implants really are your best tooth replacement option.
For more information about dental implants in the Hilton Head, SC area, please contact Beyond Exceptional Dentistry today for an appointment.