Dental implants are often an ideal solution for patients with cracked or damaged teeth that cannot be saved, or who have missing teeth–whether from sports injuries or other causes.
But when it comes to dental implants, it is important to avoid common mistakes. Here are four common dental implant mistakes to avoid.
- Leaving a damaged tooth in place for too long. Even if a tooth is not bothering you much, you may be experiencing serious damage that can prevent you from getting an implant in the future. Gum disease may destroy the bone around your tooth, leading to the need for an extraction. If that bone loss is extensive, it could harm the adjacent teeth and make it far less likely you can get a successful implant later.
- Not placing a bone graft after pulling a tooth. Ideally, if a tooth is extracted without complication, your dentist will perform a bone graft to preserve the bone. We recommend performing the implant within a year following extraction for the best results. The reason for getting the bone graft is that without one, there may not be adequate bone present to do an implant. In cases where there was no bone graft done, a procedure called bone augmentation may restore lost bone as preparation for dental implantation.
- Not using a natural-looking implant. In the past titanium implants, made of metal, were the main option for patients. Today, there is another choice that looks more natural: ceramic zirconia implants. These implants are white or tooth colored and don’t cause a gray or black line around the gums like metal implants. To avoid a dark line, ceramic implants are placed deeper into the gum, around the bone.
Ceramic implants are generally the top choice for implants in the front teeth, where the appearance of the teeth is most important, and strength is secondary. Metal implants may be best in the back teeth and in patients who grind their teeth.
- Choosing a material that triggers autoimmune or food reactivity. Up to 30% of the population may react to titanium. Both ceramic and titanium implants may create or exacerbate an existing condition, and this phenomenon is often worse with metals. At our practice, we do energetic testing to determine which of the four types of ceramic implants are safest and least likely to cause any immune system risk.
Dental implants are very successful for many patients. Doing all you can to avoid common implant mistakes can help you keep your options open when it comes to dealing with cracked, damaged or missing teeth.