A lot of people think that dental implants will last for life and don't need much care once they are placed. However, dental implants need to be cared for in the same manner as natural teeth. Although implants are not prone to decay, they can fail if they are subjected to infection, inflammation, or if undue force is placed on them. Here are some things you should know about taking care of dental implants once they have been fitted.
Facts about Maintaining Dental Implants
- Do dental implants attach like real teeth in the patient's mouth? No, implants fuse with the existing bone rather than attach. The process is known as osseointegration. Implants are a restorative method that preserve natural bone and stimulates it. This differs from natural teeth, which are attached by a periodontal ligament to the bone rather than fusing to it.
- Grinding and clenching can be harmful. The fusion between natural bone and an implant can be weakened by grinding and clenching the teeth and/or biting on ice, all of which can lead to failure or loss of an implant.
- Inflammation and/or infection are also dangerous for implants. A serious inflammation or tooth infection can harm both natural teeth and implants. Bacteria can be controlled with good oral hygiene and by getting your teeth cleaned professionally. The bone and gum around an implant can get infected if bacteria and plaque are allowed to build up. This can manifest itself as tooth decay, bone loss, or periodontal disease in natural teeth.
- General health needs to be maintained. If other health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes are not properly controlled, healing can be hindered after an implant. This can increase the threat of periodontal disease. This makes it more difficult to combat infection later, even after an implant has Osseo integrated (fused with surrounding bone).
- It is essential that good oral hygiene habits are maintained at home. Good oral hygiene includes flossing and brushing on a daily basis, the use of a waterpik, and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash. These practices will help to maintain both the natural teeth and implants.
- Get your teeth professionally cleaned at regular intervals. It is vital to have your teeth cleaned regularly by a hygienist because they can reach parts of the mouth you cannot reach.
There is no doubt that dental implants are a great innovation in dentistry as a means of replacing missing teeth. Nonetheless, it is essential that implants are cared for as meticulously as the patient's natural teeth. Good oral hygiene means daily flossing and brushing in addition to regular visits to a dentist such as KW Dentists-Highland Hills Dental & Northfield Dental. These habits are a must if teeth are to remain healthy.