If you are interested in dental implants, part of your research and preparation should include various lifestyle changes that can drastically influence the success of your implants. Since your lifestyle and health conditions can slow healing time and increase infection risks, there are ways that you can minimize your risks before sitting in the dentist chair.

Rehabilitate Your Mouth

If you have neglected routine oral exams and your dental care regimen, now is the time to begin seeing the dentist regularly and developing an oral care routine that you will maintain for the rest of your life. Some components of oral care that are easily overlooked include the regular use of dental floss and cleanings by a dental hygienist. Not only are both components important to reduce your risk of losing additional teeth, but they can reduce the development of cavities and gum disease.

One sign of gum disease is inflammation, which can be the underlying cause of tooth loss and damage to healthy gum tissue. Gum disease, even in its early stages, can prevent you from being a candidate for implants. If you have early signs of gum disease, with proper treatment, you may be able to rehabilitate your teeth and gums, and reach a point where dental implants are possible in the future.

Quit Smoking

Quit smoking for your overall health and as an added lifestyle change if you want dental implants in the future. Smoking can increase your risk of gum disease, but also makes you more susceptible to infection. With implants, you may have several months of healing time before the placement of your implant is complete. During that time, the bone needs to heal around the supports to hold the implant securely.

Smoking can significantly increase healing time, and in some cases, the surrounding bone and tissue may not heal at all. The longer your bone and tissue takes to heal, the more opportunity there is for bacteria to cause infection, or for tissue to die. Quitting is not a momentary solution to acquire implants. Even after your implants have healed, going back to old habits can increase your chances of future problems with your implants.

Live A Healthy Lifestyle

Eating a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise can help improve immune system function, which can improve your body's ability to combat infection and aid in healing. A healthy lifestyle also reduces your controllable risk factors associated with developing chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension. If you currently have a chronic condition, you should make efforts to control or reverse the condition, which improves your chances of being a suitable dental implant candidate.

Many people with diabetes or hypertension have managed to keep their numbers in a healthy range and stay off medication by significantly reducing their weight and changing their diet. Health conditions, especially poorly controlled diabetes, can prevent you from having a dental implant due to the infection risk and problems with healing. Hypertension is a concern during many types of dental surgeries, because there can be complications with anesthesia and people with hypertension are more likely to have increased bleeding during dental surgery.

Make sure your diet contains adequate calcium, fluoride and other nutrients that are important in helping to maintain bone dentistry and keep your bones and connective tissue strong. Healthy bones, especially as you age, can reduce the amount of bone that is loss so you can have enough underlying bone to support an implant in the future. Healthy bones heal quicker and with fewer complications during the implant process.

The opportunity to have dental implants is not only based on being a candidate for dental implants, but what lifestyle changes you can make before and after having implants to increase the chance of success. A healthy lifestyle increases the likelihood that you will be more satisfied with the process and a face fewer complications.