Getting dental implants will improve your smile, and oftentimes, your bite. While most implant patients enjoy unremarkable recovery periods, others may develop implant failure. Dental implant failure can almost always be successfully treated when recognized early on. Here are some factors that may raise your risk for implant failure and what you can do to reduce your risk.
Degenerative Bone Disorders
If you have a degenerative bone disorder such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoporosis, you may be at risk for dental implant failure. These disorders not only cause problems with your back, hip joints, hands, knees, and feet, but also with the bones inside your mouth. If the bones that support your dental implants weaken or become thin as a result of a degenerative bone disease, the screw of the implant may become unstable.
Before considering dental implants, talk to your primary physician about getting a bone density test. If your bone density is low, your doctor can prescribe medication to help prevent further damage. Once your bone disease has stabilized, you will be less likely to develop implant failure. In addition to degenerative bone disorders, medications used in the treatment of bone disorders may cause implant failure.
For example, medications used in the treatment of osteoporosis can cause a condition known as osteonecrosis of the jaw. This causes jaw bone exposure through the soft tissue in your mouth, and consequently, causes destruction of the jawbone as a result of poor blood supply. If you develop osteonecrosis of the jaw because of your medications, you implants may need to be removed until your jaw has healed.
Tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, can also raise your risk for implant failure. The risk for implant failure is greater when your implants are new, however, the risk will remain high until bruxism is treated. In addition to a higher risk for implant failure, grinding your teeth may also lead to jaw pain, headaches, gum recession, and enamel erosion. Your dentist can recommend treatment options such as wearing a special bruxism apparatus while your sleep.
Also, if you grind your teeth because of anxiety, your physician can recommend treatment options such as anti-anxiety medications, muscle relaxers, antidepressants, or psychological therapy.
If you are considering dental implants, discuss your risk for implant failure with your dentist. When you know more about your risk factors, you can take steps to reduce them such as getting regular medical and dental checkups, and seeking bruxism treatment.