How Risky Are Dental Implants?

Dental implant.Dental implants have become very common, and the procedure is quite routine, very safe and successful. However, as with any medical procedure, there is always some risk involved. If you are considering or scheduled to have a dental implant, it is important to be aware of the risks to prevent any severe complications.


What Are Some Risks of Dental Implants?

Some of the most common risks, according to News-Medical are a failure to integrate, perforation, infection, and nerve or tissue damage.

Failure to integrate – This is when the implant is not placed in the bone properly, so the surrounding bone does not accept and fully integrate it to provide the necessary support and stability. Antibiotics are often given to help with integration. If the bone does not fuse, the implant can be removed, and in a few months, your family dentist or implant specialist can try the procedure again.

Perforation – This complication is when a nearby structure is damaged during the placement of the implant. Sometimes the sinus cavity or other parts of the mouth or jaw are injured.

Infection – An infection can occur after a dental implant procedure in the specific or surrounding area, or even throughout the body. Dentists will often provide antibiotics after the procedure in order to help prevent infection. The more you adhere to your dentist’s aftercare recommendations, the lower your chances of infection.

Other Complications – Some other complications that are linked to dental implants are nerve injury, tissue necrosis, gingival recession, or excessive bleeding.


Do Certain Things Contribute to Risk?

Yes, some habits can contribute to an increased chance of risk with dental implants. For instance, smoking can cause complications with dental implants.

If you can closely follow your dentist’s recommendations for post-op care, you will reduce your chances of complications. For instance:

  • Keep the surgical site clean and be gentle with it.
  • Take it easy the day of and the first few days after an implant procedure.
  • Hold off on heavy lifting and intense exercise.
  • Be cautious of what foods you eat as certain foods may aggravate the site.
  • Do not drink anything from a straw as this can impede healing.
  • Take all medications to prevent swelling and infection.

Dentist standing next to a dental chair.

Good News!

Though the risk above may provoke doom and gloom when it comes to dental implants, this procedure is a highly successful, low-risk way to replace missing teeth. Dental implants preserve the integrity of your mouth and facial structure. The procedure is quite routine, and implants are easy to care for. Complications can happen, but they are quite rare.

If you follow your dentist’s instructions and make sure your dentist or implant specialist is well qualified to complete your dental implant procedure, you will likely have a natural tooth replacement that lasts a lifetime. Make sure to discuss any concerns or questions with your dentist, and if you would like, call us to discuss your options. We would love to talk to you. Our experienced, qualified and compassionate specialists are happy to work with you.

Could You Benefit from Having Your Teeth Whitened?

fitchburg family dentalOur teeth are one of the most important parts of our body, but they’re often one of the most neglected parts as well. Over time, our teeth naturally lose their bright whiteness. But some teeth are more yellow due to eating, drinking, and other habits. If you’ve noticed your pearly whites aren’t as white as they used to be, you may have started to consider teeth whitening.

If you’ve been thinking about visiting a cosmetic dentist for teeth whitening, here are a few reasons you should go through with it.

Remove stains: The most common reason people consider asking their Fitchburg family dental practitioner about teeth whitening is to remove stains from their teeth. Drinking beverages like coffee and wine, eating foods that leave deposits behind, and having overall poor dental hygiene can cause teeth to become stained yellow. And while most people are faced with staining, teeth whitening can easily remove those pesky stains. Cosmetic dentistry is more effective and safe than at-home teeth whitening kits, so it’s important to let a professional handle the process.

Improve dental habits: When your teeth are already stained and not-so-pearly white, it can be difficult to find the motivation to invest time and effort in maintaining their health. But after you’ve had teeth whitening done, you’re more likely to take better care of your teeth. When you wake up and see a bright, shiny smile looking back at you in the mirror, you’re going to feel more motivated to brush and floss regularly to maintain that level of whiteness. Overall, teeth whitening can help improve the general health of teeth too.

Boost confidence: Like previously stated, teeth are one of the most important parts of our body. And that’s not just because they help us chew and digest food, but also because a nice smile can have a big impact on how we see ourselves. Did you know that 74% of adults believe that having an unattractive smile can harm their career success? Having a nice, white smile can give you that extra confidence boost you need. Whether it’s at work, at home, or just out and about, you’ll be ready to show off your new smile.

Teeth whitening is quick, easy, and can give you a whole new outlook on your dental health in general. So if you think you could benefit from whiter teeth, talk to your Fitchburg family dental practitioner about teeth whitening today.

Should You Get a Second Opinion When It Comes to Dental Implants?

Green section opinion street street with a right arrow.

Though dental implants are a fairly routine and successful procedure, they are a big decision. They involve some invasive work and can be costly. If your dentist recommends a dental implant to you, and you are not sure if this is the best route, you may want a second opinion.


Why You May Want a Second Opinion:

Perhaps your dentist is new to you, and you haven’t really worked with him or her previously. If this is your first visit, and the dentist recommends a dental implant, you may want a second opinion.

If you do not know your dentist well or you don’t trust him fully, you may also want to seek a second opinion.

You should also discuss cost with your dentist, and if his price just does not seem right, you can seek a second opinion, at least on cost. Perhaps the other dentist will agree that you need an implant, but the cost will be lower. But remember, the expertise of the dentist is the most important thing when it comes to dental implant procedures. This is not a time to look for the lowest cost because you may not receive the best care.

Angie’s List recommends to always trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t automatically accept it. If it’s not a time-sensitive procedure, find a second opinion. Patients are becoming more educated about dental work and seeking more information. They just aren’t accepting that they need a procedure without asking questions first.

If you do decide on a second opinion, consider doing these things:

  • Go to a reputable practitioner, not a discount dentist.
  • Check to see if this second opinion will be covered by insurance if this is a concern and how the second dentist charges for it.
  • Request your x-rays and treatment plan from your original dentist (or have the second dentist do this). You especially want to avoid another set of x-rays for health and financial reasons.


Why You Want to Trust Your Dentist: 

If you have been with your dentist for some time and trust her diagnosis, just go with it. If you have a solid history with the practice, she has done other work in your mouth, and you know you are in capable, ethical hands, move forward with confidence.

Two women looking at a tablet in a dental room.

Also, if you have been experiencing pain in your mouth or have a missing tooth already, a dental implant truly may be the best thing for you, and you can rest assured this is the right thing to do without a second opinion.

Dental implants are an excellent way to replace a damaged or missing tooth. They can take the place of the tooth while keeping the integrity of your mouth and facial structure. It is smart, though, if you have any doubts, to get a second opinion. Please call us at Watkin Dental Associates if you are looking for a second opinion you can trust. We would love to help.

Dental Implant Care for the First 24 Hours

Bowl of vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup.
The benefits of dental implants are many: Dental implants should last a lifetime and are the closest alternative to a natural tooth. With a dental implant, you can save the integrity of your mouth and teeth. Though a dental implant is a beneficial, common and fairly routine procedure; it’s still surgery. And as with any surgery, proper aftercare is important to prevent infection and any other complications. For the first 24 hours after a dental implant procedure, make sure to follow your dentist’s instructions and abide by the recommendations below.


Food and Drink: 

  • Immediately after surgery and for the next day or so, stick to a diet of soft foods that you don’t have to chew—like ice cream, soup or yogurt. You can eat things like mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes or other mashed or blended fruits or vegetables. However, stay away from fruits with seeds, like strawberries, even in a smoothie.
  • Make sure to stay hydrated after your procedure by drinking lots of fluids. However, don’t use drink a straw for about a week following surgery to give the dental implant site time to heal. Also, avoid hot drinks and carbonated drinks.



  • Your family dentist or dental implant specialist will prescribe some medications for you. It’s best to get these filled ahead of time so you will have the prescriptions in hand following surgery. That way, you can just go home and rest.
  • Take your antibiotic as directed to help prevent infections. Make sure to take the entire prescription.
  • Your practitioner may prescribe a painkiller, as well as recommend over the counter pain medication, like Tylenol or Aleve. If you can get by without the prescription, that is always safer.

Woman with long brown hair smiling pointing to her cheek.
Swelling and Pain Management

  • Besides medication, you can use ice packs to relieve some pain and prevent swelling. WebMD recommends leaving ice on for 30 minutes, taking a 15-minute break and icing again. You can repeat this throughout the first 24 hours.
  • Rest for the first day. Keep your head elevated with pillows, and don’t do any strenuous exercise or bending or lifting. This will all help the healing process.


Dental Hygiene

  • Your dental family care provider or implant specialist may prescribe a rinse for the first 24 hours or beyond. If so, follow these directions. Make sure to swish gently so as not to disrupt the dental implant site.
  • If you do not have a rinse, you can rinse gently with salt water the first 24 hours and beyond. This will help prevent infection.
  • You can brush your other teeth but do not brush the site of the implant for the first day. Then be gentle with it for the next few days.

Before you know it, you can treat your implant as you would the rest of your teeth. Just take it easy the first 24 hours and follow your practitioner’s directions for aftercare. Please contact us at Watkin Dental Associates for further information on dental implants. We are happy to help!

My Dentures Are Bothering Me: What Are My Options?

Man holding his mouth as if in pain.

There’s an old saying that goes: when your mouth or your feet hurt, your whole body hurts. Most people know that this is true—a toothache, mouth irritation or something like an uncomfortable denture can wreak havoc on your entire well being. The good thing is, there is usually a solution to these problems. So what do you do when you have uncomfortable dentures that are bothering your mouth?


New Dentures

If you just have started wearing dentures, discomfort is common. According to, it is normal to experience gum pain or discomfort at first. Here are some home remedies you can try:

  • Topical Gel or Cream An oral pain relief topical gel can bring some comfort as you get used to your new dentures.
  • Salt – Remove your dentures and do a good salt water rinse by mixing ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and gently swishing in your mouth for about 30 seconds to help reduce inflammation.
  • Aloe Vera Gel – Smooth this over the inflamed or irritated area for some relief once or twice a day.
  • Gum Massage – Massage helps circulation and helps reduce swelling, irritation and discomfort.
  • Pain Relief Meds – As you get used to your dentures, you can take an OTC pain reliever to help with the inflammation and pain.

Man smiling with his arms crossed wearing a black shirt.
Current Dentures

Your gums and bone structure change over time which can result in shifting and some pain with dentures, even if you have been wearing them for a while. Make sure you are taking your dentures out while you sleep to let your gums relax and recover from the daily wear.

Often, though, a bigger fix is needed. Dentures can be uncomfortable simply because how they sit on the gums, and they can cause problems with eating and speaking. They also do not last as long as some other options, like dental implants.

Dental Implants

Many people are now turning to dental implants instead of dentures. Dental implants have these advantages:

  • They last a lifetime. No need to be refitted or have them replaced like dentures.
  • The structure of your mouth stays intact. Because dental implants act as natural teeth with an attachment to the jawbone, your teeth, mouth and jaw will not shift and cause problems later. Also, your appearance will not change as it can with dentures.
  • They are comfortable. Dental implants do not rub or grind against your gums or other teeth.
  • They act like natural teeth. Because they are implanted in your mouth, you won’t have embarrassing moments of dentures slipping while you are eating, speaking or laughing.
  • They require no extra care. Once they are healed, you can take care of your implants as you do your natural teeth—no taking them out at night or using adhesives.

Speak to your dentist about the option of dental implants. You may be ready to make the change from dentures to implants. You can also call us at Watkin Dental Associates for more information.

5 Important Things to Know About Dental Implants

Dental implants

Maybe you’ve been going the dental bridge or denture route and want something more natural and easier to care for, or perhaps you have a damaged tooth that needs to be removed. So, what are you going to do? Have you been hearing about dental implants but aren’t quite sure what the process entails? Did your dentist mention them to you but your mouth was stretched wide open, and you couldn’t ask any questions? The good news is that dental implants are the most natural and long-lasting tooth replacement option available. And here are a few more important things to know about implants before you make your decisions:

  1. Implants have a very high success rate. According to WebMD, dental implants have a success rate of around 98%. Chances of success are highest if you have your implant done by a specialist in this area. Complications can happen but are not that common, and again, the risk of complications decreases when you use a competent professional to complete your implant.
  2. Implants make eating and socializing easier. For those of you with dentures, you know that eating can be difficult sometimes. With dental implants, you can eat what you want without any special care. Dentures can often slip when eating, talking or laughing, which can cause embarrassing situations. If you have or will have a missing tooth, it is hard to chew in that area. Implants are fixed and stable in the mouth.
  3. Implants can help protect your healthy teeth and mouth. Because a dental implant will fit in the open space of a missing tooth and stand alone due to the abutment placed in your jaw, healthy teeth aren’t compromised. Also, because the dental implant is filling the empty spot, other teeth won’t shift or move. The jawbone will also stay healthy, and a healthy jawbone will keep your face from sinking in.

Dental implants

  1. Implants are not all created equal. Time reports that although high-quality dental implants have a very high success rate, there are some dentists who will use a lesser quality implant. These lower quality implants do not have such a high success rate. This just goes to show you that this is not an area to try to find a discount.
  2. Implants are the closest thing to natural teeth. Dental implants look just like natural teeth. No one will know if you have a dental implant, even if it is a front tooth. Your practitioner can match it in size, shape and color to blend with your natural teeth. Ask your family dentist for more information on the cosmetic aspect of dental implants.

Dental implants are a highly successful, natural-looking solution to damaged or missing teeth. Please contact us at Watkin Dental Associates where we can speak to you about this procedure and how it can benefit you. Our highly trained and compassionate staff is here to help.

Can Cosmetic Dentistry Improve Your Smile?

family dentalTeeth are one part of the body that often gets neglected. Even though they help us chew our food and allow us to flash a smile to our friends, they sometimes don’t get the care they need. And with an AACD survey showing that 99.7% of adults agree that a healthy smile is important for their social lives, we should be giving more attention and care to our teeth. If you haven’t been giving your chompers the love they deserve, you may be dealing with yellow, chipped, or even missing teeth — and you’re not alone. But fortunately, this is why cosmetic dentistry exists. If you’re wondering how cosmetic dentistry could help you, keep reading to find out more.

When you have a poor smile, it can significantly impact your outlook on life. Many people with dental problems find themselves with lowered confidence, causing them to smile and laugh less. Because of this, it’s important to feel good about your smile. To learn more about how your smile impacts your self-confidence, try asking yourself these questions:

  • Does your smile make you feel confident?
  • Do you often find yourself covering your mouth or not smiling at all?
  • Have you put off going to go to the dentist due to the condition of your teeth?
  • Do you smile with your lips closed in pictures?
  • How do you feel about the appearance of your teeth?

If you find yourself not feeling happy or confident with the appearance of your teeth, you should consider talking to your family dental provider about cosmetic dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry offers multiple procedures that can not only improve the quality and appearance of your teeth but can boost your self-esteem as well.

With today’s family dental technology, there are many procedures that you can consider. Let’s discuss a few of the more common options.

Implants: When someone is missing a tooth, or needs one removed, they can have a dental implant placed in the missing tooth area. The implant will act as a replacement tooth that is surgically implanted into the jaw bone and will look and feel like a real tooth.

Whitening: Many self-whitening kits don’t use bleaching solutions that are powerful enough to give the desired results. However, professional whitening can give patients the pearly white smile they deserve.

Veneers: For patients who suffer from cracked, discolored, or chipped teeth, veneers may be the solution they’re looking for. Veneers consist of a thin, porcelain cap that is placed over an individual tooth to cover up any imperfections.

There are many ways cosmetic dentistry can help patients feel better about the condition of their teeth. Whether it’s discoloration, cracks, chips, or missing teeth, talk to your family dental provider about your options. Cosmetic procedures can give you the smile you deserve.

What’s the Success Rate of Dental Implants?

Dental implants

Maybe your family dentist has mentioned that you would be a good candidate for a dental implant. You’ve thought about it, learned a little about it and now wonder if this is the best thing for you. Maybe you’ve seen that it can be a bit of an invasive procedure and perhaps the cost is a little higher than you thought, but what about the success rate? Is this going to be worth it or will you have to spend more money down the road? Let’s take a look at the success rate of dental implants and if there is anything you can do to influence it.


The Success Rate of Dental Implants

According to WebMD, the success rate of dental implants is up to 98%. If you take care of your implants, they have the potential to last a lifetime. Also, this rate should not decrease over time. Dental implants are one of the most successful dental procedures—one that provides the most natural looking and natural feeling tooth replacement.

Some reasons for the high success rate is the composition of dental implants. They do not decay or get infections, and there is usually no fracturing or cracking of the implant or tooth, like with natural teeth.


Can There Be Complications?

Yes, as with anything, complications can arise. For some patients, dental implants are not really the best option if overall health and dental health is compromised.

Sometimes it is not that the patient is not a good candidate, but that the dentist may have taken some shortcuts with the procedures. If you are just looking for a dentist office that can do an implant cheaply and quickly, you may be asking for complications. Proper procedures must be followed, and an experienced, licensed dental professional must do the work. A good treatment plan must be established for the implant to be as successful as it can be.

Another reason dental implants sometimes fail is not due to what is done in the dentist office, but how the patient takes care of the implant. Patients need to practice good dental hygiene, including regular brushing, flossing and trips to the dentist. This is important for all teeth, including dental implants.

Dental implants

An Effective Solution

Overall, dental implants are a good solution to replacing missing or damaged teeth. The procedure has a high success rate. The implants maintain the integrity of the mouth and facial structure, allowing the patient to carry on a normal life.

If you do choose to get a dental implant, make sure you check with your dentist about proper aftercare. Continue your checkups and good dental hygiene. With the proper care, a dental implant can last a lifetime.

Please give contact us at Watkin Dental Associates for any information on dental implants. We’re experts in dental implant surgery, and with our practice of gentle, professional dentistry, we can answer your question and help you thought his procedure.

How Dental Implants Can Improve Quality of Life

Dental implants

We all know how your appearance can affect how you feel about yourself. In turn, it can affect your quality of life, both positively and negatively. When you are not feeling good about your smile, you may tend to smile less. If you are self-conscious about the way your teeth look or what you can eat in public, you may not be enjoying life to the fullest. But there is something you can do about that.


Dental Implants and Quality of Life

If you are feeling self-conscious about your smile due to damaged or missing teeth or are unhappy with current dentures, speak to your family dentist about the possibility of dental implants. shares that dental implants do have the ability to improve a patient’s quality of life. In a study from McGill University in Montreal, researchers followed patients who had undergone dental implant procedures. The results were that they did enjoy life more than those with dentures; the people with implants ate better and seemed healthier.

Another study by Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine published in the International Journal of Dentistry shows that women with osteoporosis who have dental implants lead fuller, happier lives than women with osteoporosis who have not replaced missing teeth.


Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants are titanium screws that are inserted into the jaw where they then fuse with the bone. They provide permanent and secure support for dental crowns. These screws and crowns function as a natural tooth; you can eat and maintain dental implants just as you do your normal teeth. They look natural and are secure.

If you have missing or damaged teeth, or even already have dentures, you may be a candidate for dental implants. Because dental implants look so natural and maintain the shape of the face, people with them are not self-conscious about their smile or about daily behaviors and activities. You can go out to eat with friends and laugh, with no worries of dentures slipping or awkward moments.

Dental implants

Another benefit is that implants do not require the daily maintenance of dentures. They are permanent in your mouth, so you treat them like your other teeth. Sometimes dentures can cause pain if they do not fit well, but this is not the case with dental implants. They are shaped and structured like your natural tooth. An experienced dental professional will take the time to make sure the bite is natural and comfortable.


Take A Step Towards Dental Implants

If your mouth or teeth are causing you anxiety or a lack of enjoyment in life, speak to your dentist about dental implants. It may be an easy step to make your smile beautiful again, boost your confidence, and improve your quality of life.

Please call us at Watkin Dental Associates, and our professional staff can speak with you about the possibility of taking a step towards dental implants. Our dentists have expertise in this area and can make it a pleasant experience for you. A beautiful, healthy smile can be yours.

Myths and Misconceptions Surrounding Dental Implants

Dental implants

These days, information is easy to get; you can simply pull your smartphone out of your pocket and submit a query to your favorite search engine. However, often the information you find online is incorrect or inaccurate. But how can you tell the difference?

If you are considering a dental implant, you may be researching dental implants online to find out all you need to know. Here is a guide to help you decipher myths from reality.



1. You can get a quick dental implant done for a bargain price. 

While this may be true, it is not something you want to do. You should go to a reputable dentist office and have a professional with the credentials and expertise necessary to carry out this procedure. While dental implants are quite common, they need to be done by a highly qualified dental professional.

Patients who seek a bargain dental implant may encounter numerous complications that in turn need to be repaired by a professional. Whether the first dentist was not qualified or used subpar components, this can be avoided by using a trusted dentist or implant specialist to complete this procedure.


2. Dental implants are painful and invasive.

Dental implants are actually a fairly pain-free procedure. Though they can be more or less invasive depending on the situation, usually the patient can return to normal activity the next day. If a bone graft is necessary, the procedure may cause more discomfort, but under the care of an experienced practitioner, this should not be more than uncomfortable. When you are under the care of a good practitioner, you should have minimal pain.


Dental implants

3. Dental implants are often rejected by the body.

It is not hard to see where this misconception comes from, but it is just that—a misconception. We often think that if something is not natural in the body, it will be rejected. However, dental implants are made from a bone-friendly titanium material, so they typically integrate well with the surrounding bone and tissue.

Yes, myths and misconceptions do exist regarding dental implants. However, for the most part, this is a very common and very successful procedure. In fact, there really is no better way to replace a missing tooth.

Many times when something does go wrong with a dental implant, it is because the practitioner was not qualified or the patient did not take the proper care that was recommended following the procedure. That is why it is so important to have a good relationship with a caring professional who is well-qualified and experienced. Please call us at Watkin Dental Associates; we have the expertise needed to make this a comfortable experience for you.