My dentist told me the best way to replace the molars I had extracted is to get dental implants. I’m no slouch, but losing those teeth was quite an ordeal. One was hopeless from the start. It blew up as a massive infection unexpectedly and I didn’t have the cash to save it at the time, so the only option was to pull it. The other was similar, only I had insurance at the time and we did a root canal. Well, the root canal didn’t work. I didn’t even know that was possible. After hours in the chair, it flared back up again a month later. That time, he sent me to a specialist who retreated the tooth and it did it again. So, it had to go to. But, I’m telling you, this was months of pain, swelling, infections, and I don’t even know how many hours in the chair.
Given all this, I’m reluctant to go forward with the dental implants. I’ve heard there’s some possibility they could fail and apparently I’m the walking definition of Murphy’s Law. Shoot it to me straight, please. What am I really looking at if these things fail?
This is a fair question. Research shows dental implants have success rates as high as 98%. That’s good news for the general population, but it may not mean much to people like you who are disproportionately impacted by Murphy’s Law.
You can improve the outcome of your dental implants.
Let’s start by saying you have some control over the outcome here. You can help keep ‘ol Murphy at bay by:
- Starting with good oral health
- Avoiding tobacco products
- Managing health conditions, especially cardiovascular disease and diabetes
- Following up with all your dental visits
- Staying on a strict schedule for your teeth cleanings
- Practicing top-notch oral hygiene at home
- Choosing a dentist who has loads of experience with implants and places them regularly
You have choices if they fail.
The ball’s in your court if they fail to integrate, you develop an infection which causes issues, or have other issues. Generally speaking, you can have new ones placed. This usually involves some bone treatment and giving the area time to heal before trying again. You can also explore options like bridges or partial dentures.
Overall, they’re still the best choice.
Given your history, it’s understandable that you’d be wary of them. However, it’s important to note that they’re the only replacement for missing teeth that has a “root.” This root-like structure lets your jaw bone that it’s still needed. People who don’t replace their teeth this way can face significant bone loss, which results in facial collapse. Some people still have the issue with the artificial root, but even then, it tends to significantly slow the process. While the final decision is yours and must be something you’re comfortable with, odds are Murphy will stay benched on this one and you’ll be thrilled with the results.
This blog is sponsored by Dr. Steve Sirin, a provider of dental implants in Elgin, Illinois.