How to Increase Your Chances of Success with Dental Implants

Dental implants have a very high success rate of up to 98%. This should give you some reassurance if you are worried that you'll go through dental implant surgery to no avail. However, you should not interpret this high success rate to mean you do not need to put in the effort to prepare for your implant surgery or care for your mouth post-surgery. If you want to be part of that 98%, you'll need to follow these tips to help your mouth heal and your implants last.

Stop smoking as soon as possible before surgery.

Smokers are far more likely to have implants fail than non-smokers. Smoking slows down your body's healing process and may interfere with the process by which your jaw bone fuses to the implant. Most dentists will not perform implant surgery if you are an active smoker; they'll require that you quit a few weeks before surgery. Take this seriously. If you are unable to quit, then be honest and reschedule your surgery.

Keep up with your oral hygiene after surgery.

After you have your implant surgery, make sure you keep up with brushing your teeth and flossing twice a day. You can mostly stay away from the implant area to avoid irritating it. That area will get clean enough, for now, if you rinse with salt water a few times a day. By keeping your teeth and gums clean, you are reducing the overall amount of bacteria in your mouth, which reduces your risk of developing an infection in your implant site. 

Eat a healthy diet before and after surgery.

Eating a healthy diet will ensure your body has the nutrients it needs to heal your gum tissue, and also to fuse your jaw bone with the implant. Before your surgery, make sure you are eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Consider taking a multivitamin too. After surgery, you will have to stick to soft and liquid foods for a while, but you can still make sure you're making healthy choices. Make smoothies with fruit, and toss in a handful of spinach. Choose unsweetened yogurt over ice cream. Choose pureed veggie soups, applesauce, and other foods with lots of fruits and veggies.

Dental implants have a great success rate, but you should still make sure you are taking the necessary precautions to promote healing. Talk to your dentist to learn more about dental implant procedures.