Implants that are used in dentistry are typically made from titanium, which is a biocompatible metal. The biocompatibility is important because the implants are placed through the gums into the bone of the jaw, where they must integrate with the tissues of the body. An implant's rejection would result in its failure.
The state of the jawbone is important in implant dentistry. The jawbone must be thick enough to support the placement of the implanted device. If the mass of the jawbone is insufficient, the dentist may suggest a bone graft.
During the grafting procedure, the bone, which has been harvested from another place in the patient's body or from an animal or cadaver, is added to the jawbone. The introduction of the harvested bone stimulates the jawbone to produce additional cells, adding to its girth.
After the insertion of the implant into the jawbone, the bone and soft tissues heal around the device. During the healing process, bone cells surround the implant, allowing it to integrate with the jaw. This osseointegration keeps the implant firmly in position. As a result, the device remains stable as it withstands the bite pressure associated with mastication.
Still, in rare cases, a condition or incident may cause the implant to disconnect from the bone or prevent the implant wound from healing improperly. Here are a few conditions that could increase the likelihood of implant failure.
Implant patients who smoke may find that their implant wound heals more slowly than it should. The soft tissues require an adequate supply of oxygenated blood to heal properly. However, people who smoke often have reduced blood oxygen levels. Additionally, the soft tissues of the oral cavity may be irritated from their exposure to chemicals within the cigarette smoke.
Smokers may also suffer an increase in oral microbes. The elevation in bacterial numbers can incite gum inflammation. This inflammation may develop into periimplantitis, a type of gum disease that occurs around an implant wound and prevents the wound from healing properly. If the condition prevents the completion of osseointegration, the implant will not integrate with the bone as it should.
Smokers should avoid smoking in the months immediately prior to the placement of the implant and throughout the healing process.
People With Poorly Controlled Diabetes
Diabetics with properly controlled blood sugar have an implant success rate similar to patients who are not diabetic. However, uncontrolled fluctuations in blood sugar can impair the healing of an implant wound. The excessive sugar also encourages the overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth.
People with diabetes should ensure that they maintain their blood sugar levels by adhering to the dietary and medicinal suggestions of their physician.
For more information about dental implants, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your local area.