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Dental Implants: A Guide for Seniors

If you are a senior considering dental implants, you may have to worry about issues other dental patients don't have to think about. For example, you may need more time to recover after receiving your implants. My name is Jodi, and I've been working with seniors for years. I decided to create this blog to help the seniors I can't meet in person. In this space, I'm going to post entries on everything related to dental implants and seniors. From tips on flossing implants after arthritis has claimed some of your dexterity, to guiding you through the implants-vs-dentures debate, this blog is designed for you. Thanks for reading. I hope you find what you need!



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Dental Implants: A Guide for Seniors

How You Can Lower the Risks of Dental Implant Failure and How to Tell That Yours Are Failing

by Jimmy Carter

If you have failing or missing teeth, dental implants are a great choice to replace them. These implants will restore your smile as well as the functionality of your tooth. However, dental implants can fail sometimes, especially if they are not embedded firmly into your jawbone. Infections can also get in the way of the healing or recovery process of the implants, leading to failure of the implants. Therefore, here are ways you can reduce the risks of these infections and failure during recovery and signs that your dental implants are failing.

Preventing Infections/Failure

  • Avoid smoking: Smoking or use of tobacco can introduce bacteria into your mouth and lower the ability of your body to heal. For this reason, if you are a smoker, you will have to abstain from smoking a couple of weeks (three or so) before and immediately after the dental implant treatment.
  • Use saltwater to rinse your mouth: After the dental implant surgery, wait for about a day and start rinsing your mouth about three to five times a day. Mix a teaspoonful of salt with warm water for this procedure. The saltwater will help to clear or cleanse any bacteria in your mouth during recovery and as the wound heals.
  • Avoid chewy and hard foods: Hard and chewy foods can put stress on your new implants, causing them to become loose. For this reason, for about the first two weeks of recovery, you may want to eat only soft foods that may not need a lot of chewing or pressure. If you have implants on one side, avoid chewing on this side until the implants are fully cured.
  • Avoid grinding or clenching your teeth: If you constantly grind or clench your teeth, your implants will soon become loose.

Pointers of Dental Implant Failure

  • Loose implants: A loose dental implant is the most obvious sign of a failing dental implant. The movement of a loose dental implant will be easily identified if the implant is on a single tooth. If the implant is connected to a bridge, then you may only notice the movement when the implants become very loose because the bridge usually holds the implants in place.
  • Shrinking gum: If you notice your gum shrinking back from the area around your dental implant, you need to have the implants checked because they may be failing. A shrinking gum is usually accompanied by discomfort around the implants.
  • Swelling of your gum: Slight swelling of your gum, especially over your implants is also another sign of a dental implant failure.

Contact a dentist to learn more about implants or a dental plate.