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4 Scenarios That Could Cause Dental Implant Failure

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If you need to replace any missing teeth, you'll be happy to find that dental implants are some of the most successful and low-risk procedures out there. However, like any medical venture, there is always some amount of risk. Contraindications—like lifestyle habits, medical conditions, and medical treatments—can affect whether your implants work or not. Here are four scenarios where you may increase the likelihood of implant failure.

When You Can't Cut Back on Smoking

As you can imagine, smoking isn't great for your overall oral health. Carbon-monoxide and nicotine slow can actually shrink the vessels in your gums, thus reducing blood flow and slowing down healing. But there is some good news: even if you can't quit, cutting back smoking for just a couple weeks before and after surgery can improve your success rates! If you do a little search on Google, you'll even find that many dentists are saying that this contraindication isn't as big of a deal as it once was since implant technology has improved.

When You Can't Get a Handle on Your Oral Hygiene

If you lost a tooth because of poor oral hygiene, then an implant is likely to fail if you don't make changes. Implants need strong gums and jaw bone to survive, so people with gum disease aren't good candidates unless they make some lifestyle changes.

Regular check-ups, brushing, and flossing are all important. However, you may need to visit a dentist that does scaling and root planing (SRP). Once gum disease has taken its hold, only this kind of deep cleaning can get you out of a rut. Thankfully poor oral hygiene can be fixed. Once you've had bacteria cleaned out of your gums, talk with your doctor about implants.

When You Can't Get a Handle on Osteoporosis

Again, implants need healthy jaw bone in order to work. And since osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and porous, this condition may prevent you from getting implants right away. Ironically, biophosphates (the usual drug treatments of osteoporosis) can interfere with implant healing.

So what can you do? Colgate.com says that if you have the implant surgery immediately after a tooth extraction, you'll have a better chance of success. You should also increase your calcium intake (e.g. eating calcium-rich foods like broccoli), increase your Vitamin D intake, and exercise. These kinds of changes can decrease the effects of osteoporosis.

When You Are Undergoing Cancer Treatment

Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are known to cause side effects like hair loss, fatigue, and nausea. But these therapies unfortunately also known to decrease bone mineral density. The good news is that once you've completed your cancer treatments, the bone density can start to heal. While it is not a good idea to get implants while you are dealing with cancer, you can certainly consider them once you are through chemo and radiation. Talk with your dentist for more information on increasing dental implant success rates. 

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