When your dentist places titanium dental implant rods into your jawbone, it is essential that the rods properly integrate with the jawbone through a process known as osseointegration so that your implants remain stable and healthy. If the rods do not fuse to the bone properly, you may be at risk for implant failure, which means that your implants may need to be removed. Here are some ways to help ensure that the osseointegration process is a success after getting your dental implants.
Cigarette smoking should be avoided during your implant recovery phase. If possible, try quitting or cutting down before your procedure, and if you have trouble, ask your physician to recommend some effective smoking cessation treatment options.
Smoking impairs blood flow and circulation inside the mouth, and it also can damage the small blood vessels near your implant surgical sites. Cigarettes also contain toxic chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, and arsenic.
Exposure to these chemicals may slow healing after your procedure and may also raise your risk for oral infections and periodontal disease. If periodontal disease is not recognized and treated quickly, the bones that support your dental implants may weaken and become too damaged to ensure effective osseointegration.
Consider Vitamin C
Your dentist may recommend that you increase your intake of vitamin C–rich foods because they can help keep your gums healthy while you recover from your dental implant surgery. Vitamin C is essential for optimal collagen production and it also helps protect against bleeding gums and gingivitis. It can also promote optimal osseointegration after your implant surgery because it helps keep the bones that support your implants strong and healthy.
Foods that are high in vitamin C include citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes; strawberries; and green leafy vegetables such as spinach. If you are unable to consume foods that are high in vitamin C, ask your dentist to recommend a high-quality vitamin supplement.
Your dentist may recommend that you take a multivitamin that contains vitamin C instead of a "standalone" vitamin C supplement because multivitamins also contain vitamin D and calcium. These essential nutrients further help promote healthy osseointegration because they promote the stimulation of osteoclasts, a type of bone cell. This helps keep jawbones healthy so that they effectively attach to your titanium implant rods.
Monitor Your Medications
Certain medications can slow or even hinder the osseointegration process. While you should not stop taking your prescription medications without first talking to your physician, consider stopping, or at least lowering, the dosage of certain over-the-counter medications that you are taking. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, otherwise known as NSAIDs, are often prescribed after dental procedures to help minimize discomfort and inflammation.
While short-term use of NSAIDs such as ibuprofen can help keep you comfortable after your dental implant procedure, long-term use may interfere with the osseointegration process. Other medications that may negatively affect the osseointegration process include certain anticoagulant medications, which are drugs that are used to lower the risk of blood clots, heart attacks, and stroke.
Antidepressant medications, antiseizure medications, and corticosteroids may also inhibit the osseointegration process. If you take any of these medications, discuss their effects with both your primary care physician and your dentist to determine if your dosage should be lowered or if the medications should be temporarily discontinued until the osseointegration process is complete.
To learn more about how to ensure proper osseointegration after your dental implant surgery, talk to your dentist. When you see your dentist on a regular basis and take measures to ensure proper healing after your dental implant surgery, you are less likely to develop complications such as postoperative infections and implant failure.