Month: July 2021

8 reasons for dental implant failure and how to avoid them 62a20e75a4cfe

8 Reasons for Dental Implant Failure and How to Avoid Them

Give your implant the best chance of long-term success.

If you had to guess how successful dental implants are, what would you guess? The answer is an incredibly reassuring 90% to 95% success rate over a 10-year period. If you follow your dentist’s advice after you get a dental implant, your procedure is much more likely to succeed than it is to fail! Still, implant failure does happen—and it’s natural to want to do everything you can to ensure it doesn’t happen to you.

So what can you do about it? The key is often understanding the causes of implant failure. After all, when you know what can go wrong, you’re more likely to be able to take steps to prevent it. This gives you the best chance of experiencing a great treatment outcome. It’s this type of philosophy that might lead you to wonder what the top causes of dental implant failure are. The answer is a little more complex than you might think.

While implant failure is incredibly rare, there are many reasons it can happen. Everyone is different, so each individual is often more or less at risk for certain complications based on factors like their overall health, oral health, and lifestyle habits. As a result, there’s no true consensus on the most common causes of dental implant failure. The biggest risks for you may be different than someone else’s, but there are several common causes of implant failure that you can pay attention to and take steps to prevent. Here are the most common causes of implant failure and what you can do to avoid them and give your procedure the best chance of long-term success.

1. Peri-Implantitis

When you get a dental implant, one of the most immediate risks for it failing is an infection like peri-implantitis. This infection causes inflammation in the gums and bone surrounding the implant. If it isn’t caught early, peri-implantitis can lead to bone loss around your implant, eventually causing it to fail or requiring Dr. Bentz to remove it in order to treat the infection. Thankfully, you can significantly reduce your chances of getting peri-implantitis by practicing great oral hygiene, taking the complete course of any antibiotics Dr. Bentz may prescribe during the healing process, and keeping up with regular follow-up appointments.

2. Placement of the Implant

Your implant’s placement in your jaw is essential to its success, so it’s planned carefully before your procedure even takes place. If your implant isn’t placed in the proper position, it can lead to problems like gum recession and the metal becoming visible through your gums. While it might sound like this problem is out of your hands, the good news is it’s not! The key is to find an experienced implant surgeon who uses advanced technology to plan the placement of your implant. Doing this ensures that your implant is placed in the ideal position. This is why it’s perfectly acceptable—even preferable—to schedule consultations with several implant specialists before you choose the dentist you feel most comfortable with performing the procedure. A good dentist will understand and will be willing to answer any questions you have about their training, experience, and past results.

3. Lack of Osseointegration

Osseointegration is an essential process for your implant that involves the bone of your jaw growing around your implant, securing it firmly in place like a natural tooth root. When there isn’t enough bone density in your jaw for the implant in the first place, osseointegration can fail and your implant can become loose over time and potentially fall out. During the planning process, an experienced dentist will pay close attention to the health of your jaw and the bone density where your implant needs to be placed. If your jaw has suffered bone loss, you can increase its bone density by getting a bone graft before you receive your implant. You’ll need to give the bone time to heal and grow before you receive your implant, but this is sometimes an essential step if you want to give your implant the best chance for success!

4. Rejection of the Implant

The titanium metal rod that replaces your natural tooth root in a dental implant is biocompatible, which means most people’s bodies are very unlikely to recognize it as a foreign object and launch an immune response against it. In some rare cases, however, this is exactly what happens. There’s nothing you or Dr. Bentz can do to predict this type of reaction, but the good news is it’s incredibly rare!

An allergy to one of the materials in the implant itself can also cause an allergic reaction that results in your body rejecting the implant. In this case, it’s much easier to do something to predict and prevent the issue from ever happening. Although they’re mostly made of titanium, some implants also include a few components made of nickel. If you’re allergic to either metal, alert Dr. Bentz so he can find an implant that contains a different material. Making this simple switch will help you get the treatment you need without having to worry about an allergic reaction.

5. Poor Oral Hygiene

One of the greatest threats to your implant’s long-term success is poor oral hygiene. Just like a natural tooth, your dental implant can be impacted by poor oral health. Severe gum disease can lead to bone loss underneath the implant, eventually causing it to fail and potentially lead to tooth loss. Thankfully, the solution to this problem is incredibly simple! All you need to do is give your teeth and implant the same level of care they’ve always needed. This means committing to brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day, flossing at least once a day, using mouthwash daily, and scheduling a regular checkup with your dentist at least every six months. These habits will help you prevent oral health issues, like gum disease, that threaten the health of your natural teeth and implant.

6. Stress on the Implant

Your implant can also fail over time if there’s too much stress placed on it. Common causes of this are clenching or grinding your teeth or overloading, which is when bite pressure is focused on your implant instead of being distributed evenly across your teeth. Among other reasons, this can occur if your crown isn’t sitting on the implant well. Thankfully, both of these are relatively easy to resolve. If you’re clenching or grinding your teeth, you can use stress management techniques or devices like a mouth guard to help curb the habit and relieve pressure on your implant. Overloading is best prevented right when your restoration is placed on your implant. Dr. Bentz will carefully check your bite to ensure it’s ideal before sending you home, but if you notice anything off in the next few days, you can call and return to our office at any time for an adjustment.

7. Poor Overall Health

Your entire body is connected, so your overall health can also impact the success of your implant. Certain medical conditions and medications, for example, can increase the likelihood that your implant will fail. Conditions that cause you to heal more slowly or make you more vulnerable to infections can result in complications that cause it to fail, while medications that affect healing, bone growth, or blood supply can interfere with osseointegration. These are often small added risks, but it’s always important to tell your implant specialist about all of your medical conditions and medications. This will help them determine if you’re a good candidate for the procedure. They’ll also be able to take steps to lessen any increased risks, such as planning for longer stretches between procedures to allow you to heal better or prescribing antibiotics during the healing process.

8. Tobacco Use

Any form of tobacco use increases the likelihood that your implant will fail because the nicotine contained in it causes blood vessels to constrict. Your blood delivers oxygen and nutrients that are essential for the healing process, but decreased blood flow means your healing bone doesn’t get as much as it should. It also causes inflammation around the healing implant, increasing the risk of peri-implantitis and impacting your body’s ability to prevent and fight infections. Quitting tobacco use is often difficult, but it gives your implant the best chance of healing properly and continuing to succeed in the long term. The good news is there are plenty of resources out there to help you manage it—and it’s better for your overall health too!

Reach out to the team at Bentz Dental for more info on the implant process.

Nowadays, getting a dental implant is a very straightforward process with a stunning success rate. While it certainly helps to understand what could go wrong and how you can prevent it, the vast majority of implants are successful. If you follow Dr. Bentz’s advice and commit to great oral hygiene, you’ll likely be able to enjoy your beautiful, healthy smile for a lifetime! If you’d like to learn more about the implant process, feel free to call and schedule a consultation at any time.

warning signs of gum disease and how best to deal with them 62a20e807f16c

Warning Signs of Gum Disease and How Best To Deal with Them

Put a stop to early gum disease before it becomes a bigger problem.

Of all the oral health problems plaguing adults, you’ll find gum disease right at the top of the list, next to chronic tooth decay.

Most adults are somewhat familiar with what gum disease is and may have spotted mentions of this disease or gingivitis on their oral care products. However, the subtle nature of the early stage of this disease makes it really tough to notice what’s happening until pain is occurring or damage is being done.

Here is the rundown on early warning signs of this disease and what you should do about it.

What Is Gum Disease?

It is also known as periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is the proper medical term for gum inflammation and infection. Gum disease and periodontal disease can be used interchangeably. Both terms can be used to reference gingivitis as well as periodontitis, though your dentist will be very specific about which problem you have.

Early cases of this disease begin with gingivitis.

Gum disease begins as gingivitis. Gingivitis is a condition in which the gums – especially the gum pockets surrounding each tooth – become inflamed. The inflammation can be caused by trauma to the gums, a sugar-filled diet, or unhealthy lifestyle choices that increase risk factors.

Gingivitis isn’t a destructive form of this disease and it is often easily treated with a dentist’s help. Gingivitis is also reversible and won’t leave permanent damage to your gums or teeth.

Periodontitis is the most advanced and damaging form of this disease.

When gingivitis is left untreated, inflammation sets in. Chronic inflammation causes gum disease to worsen, eventually causing infection. At this stage, this disease has advanced to periodontitis.

Periodontitis can be healed but it can also cause permanent, irreversible damage to the gum tissue as well as the teeth.

Certain risk factors may make you more susceptible to this disease.

Smoking, frequent alcohol consumption, and poor (low nutrition) diets are common causes of this disease. Medical conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease also have a strong correlation with this disease. Hormonal changes and certain medications may also increase risks.

How Will I Know if I Have Gum Disease?

It isn’t always obvious or even painful.

Gum disease begins to show itself in a very subtle matter. Unlike a cavity that will eventually cause a toothache, it’s possible to have early stages of this disease without even realizing it.

It’s also important to remember that pain isn’t a reliable means of knowing whether something is wrong. If you’re seeing early signs of gum disease but don’t have pain, you still need to consult your dentist.

The earliest signs of gum disease are often tender gums and bad breath.

The most frequently seen early warning signs of this disease include:

  • Bleeding from flossing or brushing
  • Chronic, stubborn bad breath
  • Swollen, puffy, and red gums
  • Gum tenderness while brushing or eating

Sensitive teeth can also be a sign.

Early symptoms of gum disease can also impact your teeth. As gingivitis progresses you may find that your teeth feel especially sensitive.

What Should I Do if I Have Early Signs of Gum Disease?

Evaluate your current oral hygiene routine and make necessary changes.

Oral hygiene is the most important factor in treating early stages of this disease, as well as preventing future gum disease.

Be sure you’re brushing twice a day, for a full two minutes, using proper technique to clean each tooth. Floss at least once a day, preferably before your bedtime brushing. If you have gingivitis it’s highly recommended to also brush and floss after meals.

Be sure to use a soft-bristled brush and be careful to not brush over your gums.

You can also use ADA-approved dental care products designed for gum health. Look for products that have phrases like gum health, periodontal health, or gingivitis prevention on the labels.

Be cautious of home remedies and try dentist-approved options only.

Just like home remedies for toothaches, remedies for gum disease aren’t often effective nor are they always safe. For gingivitis, focus on your oral hygiene, improving your diet, and finding ways to change your lifestyle to reduce risk factors.

If you are interested in trying a particular home remedy, ask your dentist if it’s a safe option.

Call your dentist to book a checkup or expedite your next cleaning.

Last but most importantly, if you at all suspect you have gum disease, let your dentist know.

Your dentist has your very best interests at heart and will take any early symptoms of this disease very seriously. In very mild cases you may be able to come in for your routine checkup and cleaning sooner to get evaluated. For more serious symptoms you’ll be able to schedule a checkup right away.

Dr. Bentz and the team can help you resolve your gum disease – no matter what stage it may be.

Dr. Bentz offers complete periodontal care for patients with gingivitis and periodontitis. Treatment includes non-surgical options, such as at-home periodontal trays and periodontal therapy (deep cleanings), as well as oral laser surgery.

In the event of permanent damage from untreated periodontitis, Dr. Bentz specializes in stunning dental implants to replace any teeth that have been lost or need to be extracted.

You can learn more about periodontal health, gum disease, and what you can do to protect your smile by scheduling an appointment.

what you can and cant eat after implant surgery 62a20e8b9c116

What You Can and Can’t Eat After Implant Surgery

Are you wondering what foods to eat after implant surgery? Read on to find out!

Are you preparing to undergo dental implant surgery? This is an exciting treatment that can restore and rejuvenate your smile. However, to achieve the desired effect, it’s important to approach the after-treatment care process carefully.

Dental implants take at least six months to heal and fuse properly with your jawbone. During this crucial time, you’ll need to carefully monitor the foods you eat and drink. Not sure what you can eat after implant surgery? Today, we’re sharing all the details you need to know.

After Dental Implant Surgery: Why does your diet matter?

Why should you eat certain foods and avoid others as your implant heals? Put simply, your jawbones need time to heal, and you want to avoid putting them under too much pressure. At the same time, you also want to preserve the temporary acrylic teeth that are in place to protect your healing implants. Over time, as your gums begin to harden, you also want to allow them to fully grow into position without creating uncomfortable and unnecessary teeth gaps.

There are some food items that encourage this gentle healing process, and there are others that could work against it. Let’s take a look at what you can eat and when.

Foods to Eat After Implant Surgery

One of the most common questions we hear from patients is, “Can I eat after implant surgery?”

Of course, you can! We know you need nutrients, and we’d never suggest skipping meals right after your surgery. Your body needs strength and nutrients to get stronger and start healing.

However, we do suggest taking it easy. Here’s a general guide to help you plan your post-treatment meals.

Foods to Eat Right After Surgery

Immediately following your dental implant surgery, it’s best to stick to liquid or semi-liquid foods. A few examples of things to eat right after implant surgery include:

  • Smoothies
  • Cold soups
  • Pudding

Stick to this general diet for a few days. If possible, try to avoid hot liquids or foods, as they can irritate your mouth and cause inflammation. For your beverages, plain water is best at this stage, though you’ll want to avoid using a straw.

Foods to Eat One Week After Surgery

Over time, you can slowly begin eating a more varied diet. But keep in mind that you still want to avoid putting pressure on your jaw. As such, try to stick with soft foods that are easy to chew.

One week after dental implant surgery, you can try eating:

What about coffee after dental implant surgery? While it’s best to limit your liquids to water in the days immediately following your treatment, you can also add coffee and tea back into the rotation after about one week.

Craving something a little sweeter? If you’re wondering, Can I eat ice cream after dental implant surgery?, then you might be delighted to learn that after about a week, you can start drinking milkshakes again! As your healing progresses, you can start dipping up a few scoops into a bowl.

Foods to Eat After One Week

So, how long after dental implants can you eat normally? After that first week, you can slowly start reintroducing solid foods back into your meal plan. Resist the urge to introduce everything all at once, and stick to “fork-tender” foods that are gentle on your teeth and gums.

At first, try to keep your focus on soft or semi-soft foods, such as:

  • Eggs or omelets
  • Soft fruit (bananas, nectarines, peaches, berries, melon)
  • Cooked, steamed, or sautéed vegetables (broccoli, carrots, squash)
  • Baked or mashed potatoes
  • Pasta (macaroni and cheese)
  • Grits and oatmeal
  • Bread
  • Ice cream

Then, it’s safe to start introducing meat again. Try to avoid meat that’s too tough, and keep the portions small and tender. Some of our top picks include broiled fish, ground beef, and roasted chicken!

Foods to Avoid After Dental Implants

Knowing what to avoid after dental implant surgery is just as important as knowing what’s OK to consume. For the most part, the general rule is to steer clear of anything that could prevent your jawbone from fusing with the implant successfully. You also want to protect your sensitive teeth and gums during this time.

A few main foods to avoid with new dental implants include:

  • Chips
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Raw vegetables (especially carrots)
  • Hard or chewy bread
  • Lettuce on salads
  • Sticky or hard candies

While some foods on this list are simply too hard to chew, there are others, such as nuts and popcorn, that could irritate the surgical areas in your mouth. For this reason, reach for softer foods when it’s time for a snack.

It’s also important to know which beverages to avoid during this time. We suggest avoiding alcohol after dental implant surgery, just as you should also avoid smoking. To promote optimal healing, try to stay hydrated by drinking water. Doing so will give your immune system a boost and can also contribute to your overall health.

Promote healthy healing after your dental implant procedure.

At Bentz Dental Implant and Prosthodontic Center, our team has been providing patients with professional implant services since 1995. We’re committed to delivering the best outcomes every time, thanks to our advanced procedures, leading-edge technologies, and unparalleled approach to care.

Knowing what to eat after implant surgery and which foods to avoid can optimize the outcome of your treatment. It can also make sure you stay comfortable for the duration.

If you have any more questions about any services we offer, feel free to reach out to our team. You can also contact us directly or schedule an appointment online!

how dental implants can transform your life 62a20e9587a0a

How Dental Implants Can Transform Your Life

Transform your life with dental implants.

Every part of your teeth, right down to your tooth roots, has an important part to play in the function and health of your teeth and jaws. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that replaces your tooth roots, so they provide unique benefits that no other treatments for missing teeth can. It’s what makes implants so unique and effective—so effective, in fact, that they’re the best replacement for missing or severely damaged teeth!

If you’re looking into dental implants, you might find yourself asking, “But is it worth getting dental implants? What are the side effects of dental implants?” The answer is that while everyone has different treatment needs and preferences, dental implants are certainly worth considering! They can transform your daily life in many ways, from improving the way your teeth feel and function to protecting your oral and overall health. To help you decide whether or not implants might be right for you, we’d like to share how dental implants can change your life.

Dental implants improve your appearance.

Whether you’ve lost a single tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants can completely transform the appearance of your smile. They don’t just close the gap left behind by your missing tooth or teeth, they fill it with a unique restoration that’s made specifically for you, allowing it to look like a natural part of your smile. You’ll work with Dr. Bentz to choose the size, shape, and shade of your new teeth, which helps them look even more natural. No one will realize you have an implant. More importantly, though, involving you in the design process ensures that you’ll love your restored smile! The result is often a boost in self-confidence and self-esteem that can have a huge impact on your daily life.

They protect your jawbone and maintain your face shape.

Your natural tooth roots play an active role in keeping your jawbone healthy. They provide the bone with constant stimulation, which tells your body to keep sending nutrients there. When you lose a tooth, that stimulation goes away and those signals stop coming, so your body starts reabsorbing the bone where your tooth root used to be. Over time, this lowers the bone density in your jaw, weakening it and potentially even changing your face shape. This is especially prominent if you’ve lost multiple teeth, possibly giving your jaw the sunken-in appearance that’s common in people with traditional dentures. But this is far from inevitable!

Dental implants replace your entire tooth, including the tooth root, so they provide your jaw with the stimulation it needs to maintain healthy bone. They’re the only tooth replacement option that does this, so they’re also the only treatment that’s capable of protecting your jawbone like this! By keeping your jaw strong and healthy, they also help maintain your face shape—even if you’ve lost all of your teeth. This is one of the most unique, impactful benefits to dental implants.

Dental implants maintain a healthy bite.

When you lose a tooth, your remaining teeth often begin shifting into the gap it left behind. This can change your bite or the way your teeth fit together, which can make chewing feel awkward or more difficult. In some cases, it can lead to TMJ issues like painful chewing, developing a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth, frequent headaches, muscle soreness in your jaw, neck, shoulders, and back, and more. Thankfully, dental implants prevent any of these issues from developing in the first place by filling the gap in your smile. Without the gap, your natural teeth simply stay where they are, maintaining your natural, healthy bite!

They enhance your oral and overall health.

Have you ever noticed that straight, evenly spaced teeth are simply easier to clean thoroughly? There aren’t as many nooks and crannies for you to try and reach with your toothbrush or floss. By keeping your teeth from shifting around in your mouth, dental implants also ensure your teeth remain as easy to care for as possible, helping you cut down on your chances of getting cavities or gum disease. Your oral and overall health are linked, so conditions like serious gum disease, called periodontitis, can lead to an increased risk of serious overall health problems like cardiovascular disease. You still have to do your part to prevent periodontitis by practicing great oral hygiene, but dental implants make this easier. When paired with their ability to protect the health of your jawbone, it’s clear that dental implants have a marked impact on both your oral and overall health!

They improve your speech.

Did you know your teeth actually play a role in your ability to speak? It comes down to the way you make certain sounds. To make a “th” sound when speaking, for example, you must press your tongue against your teeth. Losing one of these teeth changes the way the sound comes out, and losing multiple can prevent you from making it altogether. By restoring your missing tooth or teeth, implants ensure that you once again have a solid surface to make these sounds. This makes speaking clearly and normally simple again—just as it should be!

Dental implants enable you to enjoy a wider variety of foods.

The unique placement of dental implants allows them to give you a level of natural stability that other tooth replacement options can’t provide. Whether you have a single implant with a crown or implant-supported dentures, you’ll be able to eat all of your favorite foods, from crunchy toffee to corn on the cob or whole apples. It feels great to not have to cut out foods you enjoy! It also means that a lot of healthy fruits, vegetables, and chewy, lean meats are just as easy to eat with implants, so it’s easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet. You don’t have to worry about whether or not your implants can stand up to the challenge! Implants aren’t indestructible, though, so make sure to use the same caution with them that you would with your natural teeth.

They feel and function just like natural teeth.

Dental implants are the next best thing to regaining your natural teeth, so they’re very comfortable and stable. Just like natural teeth, you don’t have to worry about them every day. They’re also incredibly easy to care for! While other treatments require extra steps in your oral hygiene routine—even bridges, though the extra step they require is quick and simple—dental implants only require the same level of care that you should be giving to your natural teeth anyway. If you want them to stay healthy long term, you have to brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day, floss at least once a day, use mouthwash daily, and visit your dentist for an evaluation every six months.

They give you a long-term, worry-free solution.

It’s not uncommon for people to ask us, “Do dental implants last forever?” If you care for your implant with great oral hygiene, it can last your entire lifetime! You may eventually need to replace the restoration on top of your implant due to wear and tear, but this is a rare occasion. And as long as it stays healthy, you’ll never have to worry about replacing your implant! There’s something to be said for being able to replace your missing teeth without losing their natural function or worrying about replacing them. They really are the next best thing to regaining your natural teeth!

Chat with our Bentz Dental team to learn more about dental implants.

When you’ve lost one or more teeth, it’s normal to find yourself asking a flood of questions. What’s the best option to replace missing teeth? Is it better to get dentures than implants? Are implants better than a bridge? After all, you want to ensure that you find the best long-term treatment for you! In general, dental implants are the best tooth replacement option out there, but everyone has different treatment needs and wants. In the end, your ideal treatment is up to you! If you’d like to learn more about dental implants or other tooth replacement options, feel free to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bentz at any time.

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