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Do certain health conditions reduce implant success?
February 1, 2012

Prior to any major medical or dental procedure, the caring provider will conduct a thorough examination to make sure the procedure has an excellent prognosis for success. The process of assessing the success of dental implants requires your implant provider to review your physical health as well as your dental health to ensure a positive outcome.

There are a couple of major contributors to the failure of dental implants. Heavy smokers are always advised to quit tobacco use before embarking on the dental implant process. Smoking has been found to be a major reason why dental implants fail. [pullquote]The process of assessing the success of dental implants requires your implant provider to review your physical health as well as your dental health to ensure a positive outcome.[/pullquote]

Infection is another issue that increases the odds of dental implant failure. Infection can happen for many reasons, but the oral hygiene habits and commitment from the patient to keep the implant area cleaned and flossed daily are points your implant dentist will stress before starting the implant process.

Basically if a patient is strong and healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, they are likely to be strong and healthy enough to get a dental implant. However, patients who have experienced periodontitis are likely to have to undergo further testing to make sure they are a good candidate for dental implants.

A dental implant is a small device much like a screw usually made from titanium. The implant is surgically placed in the gum tissue for the intent of the implant to fuse to existing bone so that it can support a restoration making the implant act much like the root of your natural tooth. For patients that have experienced gum disease, the bone in the gum tissue where the tooth is missing might have shrunk. This would make the fusion of the implant to bone more difficult.

However, this does not automatically rule out the possibility of a dental implant. Further investigation by your dental provider in the way of x-rays or an MRI might offer evidence to support going forward with the dental implant procedure. And there are procedures available that build up existing bone to allow for dental implants.

Patients with chronic diseases like diabetes face a more uphill battle in the success of dental implants. Other physical maladies that will possibly interfere in the success of dental implants include heart disease or a health history involving radiation in the head or neck area. Further testing might be needed for these patients to make sure they are good candidates for dental implants.

A missing tooth can impact the way we eat, smile or speak. Investigating the possibility of retaining or restoring those life altering functions is certainly worth a consultation to discuss your options concerning dental implants.

To learn more and to schedule a consultation, contact Hinsdale Dentistry, serving the Downers Grove area, at 630-323-4468.

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