Most dental implants are successful. Sometimes, however, the bone fails to fuse sufficiently to the metal implant. Smoking, for example, can contribute to implant failure and complications.

If the bone fails to fuse sufficiently, the implant is removed, the bone is cleaned up, and you can try the procedure again in a month or two.

You can help your dental work — and remaining natural teeth — last longer if you:

  • Practice excellent oral hygiene. Just as with your natural teeth, you must keep implants, artificial teeth and gum tissue clean. Specially designed brushes, such as an interdental brush that slides between teeth, can help clean the nooks and crannies around teeth, gums and metal posts.
  • See your dentist regularly. Schedule dental checkups every six months to one year to ensure the health and proper functioning of your implants.
  • Avoid damaging habits. Don't chew hard items, such as ice and hard candy, which can break your crowns — or your natural teeth. Avoid tooth-staining tobacco and caffeine products. Get treatment if you grind your teeth.
Dec. 15, 2012