Dental implants offer the most functional and natural-looking means to replace missing teeth. Unlike crowns, dental implants are typically “rooted” into the jaw bone. This anchors the implant in the mouth, just like a natural tooth root. We will explain how osseointegration is an integral component for a successful dental implant
What is osseointegration?
Osseointegration refers to the point at which bone and gum tissue heal around the implant’s “root.” The root is a screw placed into the jawbone. As the bone and tissue heal and “integrate” the implant’s root, it secures the screw in place. Once osseointegration occurs, the ‘tooth’ portion of the implant can be attached.
Successful osseointegration is crucial for secure implants. When the bone heals properly around the implant, it provides a stable base for single implants, bridges and dentures. The patient can eat, drink and speak just like they would with natural teeth. This offers a superior experience to traditional dentures.
How can I ensure successful osseointegration?
The good news is the success rate for dental implants is than greater than 95 percent! If Dr. Mike deems you will be a good candidate for dental implants, you can look forward to years of highly functional, natural-looking teeth. However, osseointegration can be affected by several factors:
- Jawbone density: If you suffer from osteoporosis, or you lack sufficient bone in your jaw, a dental implant may be not be successful. To circumvent this issue, a bone graft can be performed to create a solid base for the implant. While a bone graft adds additional time to the implant process, the ultimate result is well worth it.
- Medications and antibiotics: Certain medication may interfere with bone healing. Dr. Mike will evaluate your current prescriptions to see if there are any contraindications. Infections can also interfere with osseointegration, therefore after an implant is placed,it is common to be prescribed antibiotics to prevent an infection.
- Smoking and alcohol cessation: You must stop smoking at least two weeks before the implants are placed, and throughout the healing process. Nicotine significantly restricts blood flow and cell growth, which will hinder osseointegration. Alcohol consumption can also hinder the process.
- Regular oral healthcare: Eliminating bacteria is crucial to the healing process. While you will need to avoid the implant site for the first few days, brush and floss regularly to prevent infection or decay. Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash can also be beneficial.
- Follow-up appointments: Your implants require follow-up appointments, to place the upper portion of the implant and to check on the healing process. Don’t miss these: Dr. Mike will take the opportunity to make any necessary adjustments.
- Regular check-ups: Finally, be sure to keep up with your regular dental check-ups and cleanings. The healthier your mouth, the faster you’ll heal.
When you schedule an initial appointment with Dr. Mike, he’ll determine whether dental implants are right for you. Your overall health, condition of your jaw bone and the number missing teeth, will be considered by Dr. Mike as he determines which implant is the most suitable.
Call Dr. Mike at the Cleveland Implant Institute today to schedule an initial consultation.