The placement of a dental implant is one of the most common procedures I perform in my practice. However, when it comes to the long-term prognosis for the implant, many are surprised that the long-term prognosis is often dependent on patient behavior, not the placement of the implant by the surgeon. There are certain factors that influence the successful outcome of dental implants. These factors will help determine whether your dental implant surgery is successful or not. In this article, I will discuss the factors that can affect the prognosis of dental implant outcomes.
- Bone health and density: Bone density is one of the primary factors affecting the positive outcome of a dental implant. The higher the bone density, the better the long-term success of the surgery. However, if your bone density is not high and you need an implant, we can improve the site with L-PRF or dental bone grafting procedures to increase your bone density and improve your bone health. This will ensure that your dental implant will properly integrate and be supported.
- Chronic smoking: This is the highest risk factor for loss of teeth, as well as dental implant loss. In a study, patients who quit smoking 1 week before surgery and abstained for 8 weeks after surgical placement of their implants had only one third as many failures compared with those individuals who continued to smoke. If you plan for implant surgery, you should quit smoking at least 6 weeks prior to your surgery for a successful long-term implant outcome. Really, I advocate you cease smoking all together for the overall health benefits.
- Staging of surgery: If the surgery is performed in more than one stage it often has a greater likelihood for success. For example, we may want to extract a tooth in one stage and then wait for some time before implanting a tooth in another stage, this has a greater chance for a successful implant outcome. In some cases, we can extract and implant in one appointment. If you are planning a dental implant, a consultation and treatment plan with an oral surgeon that includes the stages of the surgery will always be reviewed. Each case is unique so this needs to be evaluated in depth with x-rays during your consultation.
- Diet and Nutrition: Your diet is a very important factor in the successful outcome of your dental implant surgery. You should eat a balanced and nutritious diet post-surgery, to ensure rapid healing and osseointegration. Also, we recommend that you eat a soft food diet and try to avoid directly contacting the implant with pressure from chewing for 3 months after the surgery. You can eat normally in other areas, just ensure that you use care in the site of the implant to get the best fusion of bone in that area.
- Oral Hygiene: This is extremely important post dental implant surgery. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing regularly will reduce the chance of an infection developing at the site of the implant and will also prevent compromising the long-term success of the implant surgery.
- Age: Certain factors that affect the outcome of your implant surgery, may increase with age. These could be certain chronic illnesses, such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, and some medications including corticosteroids. However, if your oral surgeon can work around these factors, there is no reason why there should not be a successful dental implant outcome for mature patients.
These are some factors that affect the prognosis of dental implants. At, Harbour Pointe Oral Surgery and Advanced Dental Implant Center, we have successfully performed thousands of dental implants on a wide variety of patients. We work closely with our referring dentist for the best long-term prognosis in restoring the comfort and function of your perfect smile.