Preventing Dental Implant Infection: Tips for Long-Term Oral Health

dental implant infection

Dental implants boast a success rate of more than 95%. The rate of anything going awry, the dental implants failing or catching an infection, is very low. Having said that, one must be prepared for any possible outcomes that can occur. 

There is also a greater possibility of infection in people who suffer from medical conditions like diabetes, which makes them more susceptible to them. If you or your loved one has a medical history such as this and want to address concerns of having an increased risk of infection, you have come to the right place.  

In this blog, we will be detailing basic recommendations and advice for preventing the possibility of infection in the implant area. 

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are prosthetic structures designed to replace damaged or missing teeth, offering one of the most durable and natural-looking teeth replacement options available.

The implant itself isn’t the tooth, but a combination of three basic structural elements: Firstly, a post made of biocompatible (your body will welcome it as non-invasive) metal, that is drilled into your jaw-bone; this will act as the base for the whole implant itself. Secondly, the abutment which is the connector between the post and the crown, and then finally, the crown, the visible part of the implant, which will shine through your smile. 

A process called osseointegration, where the prosthesis and the bone strongly fuse with each other, is a necessary component of the dental implant process. The implant will borrow the majority of its strength from the bone it will fuse with. Therefore a strong density and quality of bone is essential for this process. 

Tips for Preventing Dental Implant Infection in the Long-Term

In this section we have compiled a list of possible actions you can take to prevent a possibility of dental implant infection. The probability of catching an infection is low, but a neglect of these basic prevention techniques can potentially increase this probability. 

Follow Post-Operative Instructions

After you have completed the surgery, the dentist will offer you a set of post-operative instructions. It is of vital importance to follow this advice, as neglecting these can hamper the success rate of the future of your dental implants, as well as increase the chance of infection.

Maintain Excellent Oral Hygiene

One of the hallmarks of future dental implant success and a way to greatly diminish the chance of infection is to maintain excellent oral hygiene. This translates to usual advice like brushing teeth twice using a toothbrush that is soft-bristled and using toothpaste that has fluoride. Also flossing daily, especially around the implant area; this is to remove the plaque and food particles that the bacteria can cover. Some also find that using a water flosser can be helpful for cleaning around the implants.

Use Antimicrobial Mouthwashes

Antimicrobial mouthwashes are much more powerful than usual, as are over-the-counter mouthwashes. They are specially made to eradicate bacteria that cause gum-related infections. They can also help control or reduce tooth decay, plaque, gingivitis, and bad breath. Your dentist will determine how to integrate this type of mouthwash into your dental implant treatment regimen.

Regular Dental Check-ups

Remember to visit the dentist often and report to them if you encounter any issues like swelling, pain, tightness, loss of bite strength, etc. The visits to the dentists are crucial in stopping the infection, if there are signs of it occurring, as early as possible so that the situation can be controlled more effectively before any damage occurs. The dentist will also assess whether you require any medicinal changes or extra physical implant maintenance, as those can also be risk factors when it comes to bacteria growth in the implant areas. 

Avoid Risk Factors

Especially during the early stages after getting dental implants, it is of vital importance to avoid any factors that could adversely affect your condition. These could be harmful substances and actions such as smoking and nicotine/tobacco, as they will seriously hamper the healing process. Aside from this, it is also important to manage your diabetes if you are suffering from it and to avoid an intake of too many sugary foods and drinks. This helps in preventing the cultivation of an environment conducive to bacterial growth.

Address Any Pre-existing Oral Health Issues

If you are suffering from pre-existing oral health issues such as periodontitis, oral thrush, or untreated cavities, then you must prioritize addressing these even before going into the surgery room and getting your implants placed. These can seriously get in the way of your implant journey and could even potentially lead to implant failure. If you have these conditions under control, you are ensuring a greatly reduced chance of dental implant infection. Remember to consult a dentist about this and have a conversation with them about any prior health concerns you might have.

Prophylactic Measures

To reduce the chance of post-surgery infections, the dentist might also consider prophylactic measures, especially antibiotics. This pertains to people who suffer from a weaker immune system or conditions that make them more susceptible to getting infections. These patients can be people with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or those who are immunocompromised. A preemptive antibiotic treatment can give patients like these an extra layer of protection from any infections occurring. 

Conclusion

There is little possibility of an implant infection from occurring as the process boasts a high success rate, yet it is still important to be prepared for any consequence that could arise. As with all medical advice, it is important to consult the dentist first and foremost if you are noticing any signs of infection, they will be able to assess your unique condition most accurately.

This blog has compiled and discussed the basic techniques that can help you reduce and avoid the risk of dental implant infection. If you or a loved one is suffering from signs of infection or you just want to consult with professional, highly skilled physicians, visit us at the Tampa Implant Clinic in Tampa, Florida. We offer expert dental solutions and advice catered to your unique needs! Call us now to learn more!

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