Are there things I can do to help my dental implant succeed?

I am hoping to get a dental implant to replace a tooth in the front of my mouth. I have had a lot of dental work done before. Some of it was in an emergency situation, some of it just regular check-up findings. Some of the dental work I have had done was great and helped, and sometimes it wasn’t so great. Because of my varied experiences, I am a little nervous about getting an implant. Several people have scared me with stories of failed implants. Are there things I can do or watch for to help make sure mine is successful?


Jeffrey, Milwaukee

Dear Jeffrey,

That is a great question and there are things we can suggest to help your dental implant succeed.

First and foremost is choose the right dentist.

There are many dentists across the world who claim to be able to complete a dental implant. Dental implantology is not a specialty that is officially recognized, like orthodontia, but there are credentials that dentists can receive for additional study and practice in dental implants. Do your homework when choosing a dentist. Look for a diploma or ask about accreditation from the International Congress of Oral Implantologiests or the American Board of Oral Implantology.

Don’t go cheap.

The dentist who will help your dental implant succeed is not going to be the cheapest dentist. That’s because he will use high-quality materials. Substandard materials that may be cheaper will lead to problems with fit and the life and quality of the implant.

Give your dentist a thorough medical history and complete any pre-implant testing.

Your health plays a role in the success of your implant. You will be asked for your medical history and may be asked to complete a CT scan. Sometimes people wonder if that is necessary when you  get xrays done every year at your exams. The answer is yes.

Dental implant root base in bone.

The doctor needs to make sure you have adequate bone structure to support implants and needs to know where to place the root forms so they don’t go into your sinuses. The easiest way to find that out is through a CT scan.

Even following all the instructions of a competent dentist, there are times when unforeseen complications arise and the implant may fail. Your body may just not respond well to implants. There is a risk of failure with most medical procedures. Sometimes, even with top experts and ideal scenarios, a procedure may not work and that is a risk you take.

We wish you luck with your implants.

This post is sponsored by Dr. Ryan Perry in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.



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