Minimizing Infections with Your Dental Implant
Dental implants have a high rate of success – nearly 99%, according to the American Academy of Endodontists. Success translates to placing implants without any complication or incident and present no problem for the patient. Occasionally an implant fails or has complications. Dr. Hudson discusses why implants can fail, how patients can help to prevent failure and an exciting new breakthrough in dental implant technology.
Infection is the number one reason why dental implants fail. Infections occur when bacteria are present in the gums when the surgery is performed, or after the procedure is completed, during healing. The mouth has a large amount of bacteria – both good and bad. Bad, or illness causing, bacteria can flourish in the mouth as a result of poor dental hygiene practices.
This bacteria abundance happen specifically when patients do not brush or floss their teeth. After implant surgery, it is important to keep the treated site clean through gentle brushing and flossing. Rinsing gently with salt water several times a day can also help minimize infection risk. Of course, patients should take their prescribed antibiotics as instructed – and finish their prescription, as well. Many times patients skip finishing their prescription, putting themselves at risk for virulent infections. Patients should also avoid the use of tobacco and nicotine products for several weeks before their implant surgeries. Ideally, Dr. Hudson would love to see his patients quit using tobacco and nicotine completely, but advises patients to wait until cleared after the implant procedure to start using cigarettes and other products again. This includes e-cigarettes, too.
Following care instructions, practicing proper dental hygiene, and avoiding the use of tobacco and nicotine products most definitely can reduce incidents of infection that can cause implant failure. But a new technology may have the implants themselves fighting off bacteria – from the inside. This new development comes from Spanish researchers who are working to develop a dental implant that fights off infection through antibacterial coatings applied to the implant ceramic. These coatings would provide a long-lasting defense against infections. This would be especially important in the post-surgery period where patients have an increased risk of developing infections and still have open wounds.
This is exciting news for dental implant patients and dental care providers! If you have questions about dental implants or how you can minimize your implant failure risk, call Dr. Hudson today at 888.724.7986.