Conditions Or Habits That Could Impair Implant Wound Healing
A dental implant replaces the roots of a missing tooth. The device, which is inserted through the gingival tissues and positioned in the jawbone, becomes increasingly secure in the bone through a process called osseointegration. As the wound from the implant's placement heals, the bone cells grow around the device, filling any gaps between the implant and the bone. If there are no hindrances to the healing process, the implant becomes fully stable in about three to four months.
However, issues that prevent the proper healing of an implant wound could result in implant failure. Here are a few conditions or habits that could interfere with the implant wound healing properly.
Peri-implantitis is a type of gingival inflammation that may occur around an implant wound. The inflammation often results from improper cleaning of the gums around the wound site.
After an implant is placed, the mouth, including the area around the implant wound, should be cleaned regularly. If bacteria are allowed to accumulate around the site, the gums become inflamed. The inflammation may even affect the jawbone, leading to bone loss and preventing osseointegration.
To avoid peri-implantitis, the patient should brush and floss regularly. Additionally, they should rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash.
People who are planning to receive a dental implant or have already had an implant placed should avoid smoking. The detrimental habit reduces oxygen flow to the healing tissues and increases inflammation. As a result, the implant wound of a smoker is unlikely to heal as quickly and may fail to heal properly or completely.
To avoid implant failure, it is best to forgo smoking altogether.
Bruxism is a common condition in which the patient regularly grinds their teeth, often at night as they sleep. The grinding places a large amount of stress on the natural teeth and dental implants.
In fact, the stress can be great enough to cause a dental implant to shift in the bone. Once the implant moves out of its position in the jawbone, the bonds formed between the device and the bone are broken. As a result, the implant fails. Osseointegration does not recur between the existing device and the jawbone.
To avoid the shifting of the implant during and after osseointegration, if a patient suffers from bruxism, a mouthguard should be worn at night. The guard is a customized appliance that absorbs the excessive bite pressure to help prevent harm to the teeth, dental implants, and other devices in the mouth.
To learn more about your dental implant and how to prevent its failure, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.