Many believe that once teeth are replaced with dental implants, they are there for good, and do not need to be cared for. Implants need to be maintained just like regular teeth. While dental implants are not susceptible to decay, they can break down down due to force, chronic inflammation, or infection, and begin to fail.
Failure for a dental implant is one that begins to have movement. It is important to care for your dental implants and to continue to see your dentist for regular dental examinations. Below you will find some of the top facts about maintenance of dental implants.
Maintenance Of Dental Implants Facts
Dental Implants Can Last A Lifetime.
Once a dental implant integrates into the bone, proper care should allow it to remain with you for your entire lifetime. It is a highly successful procedure with success rates above 98%.
Dental Implants Attach In The Mouth Just Like Natural Teeth.
This is a common misunderstanding. Dental implants actually fuse to the bone in a process called osseointegration. Dental implants are the only dental restoration choice that preserves and stimulates natural bone. Our natural teeth are not fused to the bone and instead are attached via a periodontal ligament. This ligament is made up of tiny fibers that act as a buffer (like a shock absorber) in between the tooth and bone. In fact a natural tooth has some movement even in a healthy state. It is undetectable to most people unless there is disease present.
Get Teeth Clenching Or Teeth Grinding Under Control.
Habits such as clenching or grinding, chewing ice, and contact sports can weaken the union between the dental implant and the bone, which could end up with premature loss of the implant.
Infection and inflammation Can Spell Failure For Dental Implants.
A dental infection or chronic inflammation is a concern for both dental implants and natural teeth. Regular professional cleanings along with diligent at home care can keep bacteria at bay. If the oral bacteria and plaque is not removed on a regular basis the gums and bone surrounding the implant will become diseased. An oral infection can develop.
In natural teeth, this can present itself as tooth decay, periodontal disease, and loss of supporting bone surrounding the tooth. While dental implants are immune to tooth decay they can be threatened by dental bacteria breaking down bone and gum support. When an infection strikes around a dental implant it is called peri-implantitis. If this infection is not treated immediately, it can lead to bone loss surrounding the dental implant which will cause the dental implant to loosen. Remember a loose dental implant is a failed one.
Maintain Your Overall Health.
General health conditions that are not controlled properly, such as diabetes and heart disease can slow and decrease healing after the dental implant has been placed and increase the risk for periodontal disease. It will also play a role after the dental implant has osseointegrated making it harder to fight off infection down the road.
Diligent At Home Dental Hygiene Regimen Is A Must.
This should include proper brushing (at least twice a day), flossing (at least once per day), and waterpik with use of an antibacterial mouth rinse. This will not only help maintain your dental implant but the rest of your teeth as well.
Maintain Regularly Scheduled Professional Cleanings.
These visits to the hygienist are vital to reach areas that you are unable to at home. If these areas are left alone, it can lead to loss of your dental implant.
Dental Implant Maintenance Conclusion
Dental implants have been a modern marvel in the replacement of lost teeth. However, it is important to note that they need to be cared for in much the same way our natural teeth do. Excellent hygiene includes brushing, flossing and regular trips to your dentist will go a long way to keeping your teeth and implants healthy.