Our Dental Blog

Posts for tag: Dental Implant

By Carol A. Cunningham, DDS
July 03, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: smoking   Dental Implant  
SmokingCouldShortenYourImplantsLongevity

Although costly in the beginning, dental implants often turn out to be the least expensive tooth replacement option. That's because their enviable record for longevity often outpaces dentures or bridges. Over the long-term you might spend less for implants than these other restorations.

But even with the high success rate of dental implants (greater than 95% survive the ten-year mark), we can't guarantee they won't fail. And if you're a tobacco smoker, the risk of failure might be even higher. One study, for example, found early implant failures were twice the rate for smokers over non-smokers. Although implant failures overall are low, smoking seems to be a factor in those that do.

There are a number of reasons to account for this. For one thing, inhaled smoke can damage salivary glands, reducing the flow of this important fluid. Saliva helps control bacterial growth and neutralize mouth acid, so without it you're more susceptible to tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease. Either infection could ultimately weaken implant-supporting bone.

The nicotine in tobacco can also restrict oral blood vessels and lower their ability to supply antibodies and nutrients to the teeth and gums. This slows healing, which could have one particular effect on implant durability.

During the intervening weeks between implant placement and crown attachment, the implant's titanium post attracts bone cells that grow and adhere to its surface. The effects of nicotine on healing, especially right after implant surgery, can interfere with this integration process so that the implant doesn't anchor in the bone as well as it should.

If you're a smoker, you can increase your chances of implant success—and have a healthier mouth overall—by quitting smoking beforehand with the help of a cessation program. Or at the least, consider stopping smoking for one week before implant surgery and for two weeks afterward.

And be sure to brush and floss your teeth daily and visit your dentist regularly to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. Stopping smoking and practicing effective oral hygiene could make a big difference in the success or failure of your implant.

If you would like more information on smoking and your dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants & Smoking.”

By Carol A. Cunningham, DDS
December 19, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental Implant SmileLearn more about this popular tooth replacement and how it works.

Are you wondering whether or not dental implants are the right approach for restoring your smile after tooth loss? If you are a healthy adult who is missing one or more teeth, dental implants might just be the perfect solution for filling those gaps and improving your oral health. Read below to learn more about how dental implants can replace your missing teeth for life, and call Decatur, IL, dentist, Dr. Carol Cunningham, if you are interested in undergoing treatment.

 

What’s so special about dental implants?

Well, actually there are a lot of unique benefits that this tooth replacement can offer adults that are dealing with tooth loss. First of all, dental implants are the closest you can come to natural teeth in both comfort and stability. Secondly, their versatility allows them to be used to replace a single missing tooth, an entire row of teeth, or anything in between. Plus, dental implants stay put, so you don’t have to worry about them shifting or moving around when talking and eating.

 

How do dental implants work?

The secret to dental implants lies in the fact that they are designed to function just like real tooth roots. For this to happen, you will visit our Decatur, IL, office to have the implant placed into the jawbone (this will require minor surgery). Once the implant is placed into the jawbone, we will give your mouth up to six months to heal. During this time, the jawbone and gum tissue will heal around the implant, melding with it to become a strong and durable unit from which to support a false tooth.

Once the implant and the jawbone are one, we will continue the treatment process by cementing a dental crown onto the implant. The crown will also need to be customized to fit your smile, given that, while your implant won’t be visible when you smile, the dental crown will be. Our goal is to create the most realistic dental restoration possible so that the only person who knows you have a dental crown is you.

 

Who is a good candidate for dental implants?

There are several factors to consider before deciding whether or not you are right for dental implants. You could be an ideal candidate for an implant if you are a healthy adult with a strong jawbone who is looking for a long-term solution to replacing one or more permanent teeth. If you want to find out if dental implants are right for you then it’s time to schedule an evaluation with us!

At the Gentle Art of Dentistry in Decatur, IL, we believe that everyone deserves to have perfect smiles regardless of damage or tooth loss. If you are an adult who is looking for the best way to replace missing teeth, then call our office today at (217) 422-7448.