March 27, 2019
Losing a tooth to infection or in an accident can leave an embarrassing hole in your smile. If you are one of the 120 million Americans that the American College of Prosthodontists estimates is missing at least one tooth, a dental implant is an excellent way to fill the gap in your teeth and preserve your oral health. Although dental implants have a high success rate of roughly 98%, there are some things you can do on your own before the procedure to ensure everything goes smoothly. Keep reading to learn 3 helpful tips to prepare for dental implants in Southlake.
#1: Say No to Tobacco
It is no secret that quitting tobacco will improve your health and quality of life over both the short and long-term. However, if you plan on getting a dental implant, you should consider dropping the habit immediately.
The nicotine in tobacco reduces blood flow and can make it harder for your body to heal, including after an oral surgery procedure like dental implantation. If your jawbone is unable to heal properly and fuse with the dental implant, the implant may fall out or become so loose it must be removed.
Quitting tobacco several months before opting for dental implant surgery can help boost the health of your gums and mouth and ensure the procedure is a success.
#2: Practice Good Oral Hygiene at Home
It is impossible to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant if the surrounding mouth is not healthy enough. Committing to practicing good oral hygiene at home will create a healthy environment for your new artificial tooth by preventing harmful plaque and tartar buildup and decreasing the risk of gum disease and other oral infections.
Keep your mouth in tip-top shape by brushing your teeth twice daily for a full two minutes each time and flossing at least once a day. Set an alarm on your phone if you get distracted easily or lose track of time when brushing. In addition, when cleaning your teeth, be sure to brush on all sides – the inside, outside and chewing surfaces of the teeth.
#3: See the Dentist Regularly
The final important step to keep your mouth healthy in preparation for dental implant surgery is to follow the advice of the American Dental Association and see a dentist in Southlake every six months for a routine checkup. A biannual dental exam is an opportunity for a dentist to expertly clean your remaining natural teeth, catch any developing problems early on, and provide additional oral care tips.
With proper before-and-after care, dental implants can be a long-lasting solution to fill the gaps in your smile. Help ensure your new smile is a success by following the 3 tips above!
About the Author
Dr. J. Lee Pettigrew has been helping citizens in Southlake and surrounding communities achieve and maintain healthy smiles for 30 years. A member of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, he was rated as a “Texas Super Dentist” three years in a row by Texas Monthly Magazine. Patients interested in more information about dental implants should visit Dr. Pettigrew’s website or call 817-481-4888.
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