Dental implants are one of the best solutions if you are looking to replace missing teeth. Not only do you not have to worry about slippage as with dentures, but you can also eat a wider variety of foods and clean them as you would your normal teeth. Typically, dental implants take around 3 to 6 months to fully heal, but healing can be prolonged in some circumstances. Prolonged healing is not ideal for the implant and can potentially result in implant failure if it is not addressed. Here are some things to look out for while your new dental implant is healing.

illustration of a dental implant next to natural teeth in gums

Avoid Smoking at All Costs

Not only does this include smoking while your implant is healing, but also at least 12 months before your procedure as well. This is due to smoking’s effect on the gums. Your gums are integral to the health of your mouth because they deliver important nutrients to your teeth via the bloodstream. Smoking actually limits the flow of blood to the gums, which is why smokers are more susceptible to gum disease. This blood flow is key for dental implants to heal properly, and it is limited then the healing process will not only take longer, but it is also possible that your body will not take the implant.

For much of the same reasons as smoking, those who are having difficulty managing their diabetes should avoid dental implants. Diabetes stiffens and narrows the capillaries which reduces the blood flow to many areas of the body, including the gums. This can prolong the healing process and may result in the implant failing to take. Once your diabetes is under control your dental implants should heal normally.

Bone Growth is Key

Simply put, if your bone does not grow around the dental implant then it will not take. If you have lost a tooth because it was infected, or due to advanced gum disease then without antibiotics it is highly likely that any healing dental implants will become infected. It is difficult for your body to heal and fight off an infection at the same time, and this is especially true for any infections that reach the bone. The best case scenario in this situation is that it takes longer for the implant to heal, but it is important to note that this could result in the loss of the implant. If you or your dentist are worried that the implant could become infected, then you may want to consider waiting a few months after the tooth is extracted to ensure that the infection has subsided.

The Best Option for Extracted Teeth

Despite the extensive healing period, it still holds true that dental implants are the best option if you are looking to replace missing teeth. If you are patient, visit with your doctor on proper care and maintenance, and try to avoid moving it excessively or placing unneeded pressure on it, then dental implants can last you a lifetime. If you are curious about dental implants and live in the Rochester area, please consider visit us at Rochester Advanced Dentistry. Our dentists can answer any questions you may have and show you how to properly care for and maintain your new dental implants. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please give us a call at (248) 656-2020.