A dental implant closely looks and feels like a natural tooth because it replicates both the root and the crown. Although it may look real, a dental implant differs from the tooth you’ve lost because it can’t get cavities. That doesn’t mean you can toss out your toothbrush. Any natural teeth are still at risk and there can be another danger hiding in your mouth that can cause your new smile to fail.
Dental Implants are Different
Traditional bridges, partials, and dentures only replace the portions of lost teeth above the gum line. A dental implant is unique because it treats the entire tooth structure.
A titanium post is surgically placed into your jaw to act as a new root. This stimulates bone growth, allowing your jaw to fuse to it through a process called osseointegration.
Once your bone has healed, an abutment is placed on the post to connect your custom-made restoration, which will be made of high-quality materials for durability and aesthetics.
Dental Implants Can’t Get Cavities
Dental implants won’t erode from sugar like your enamel, but that doesn’t mean you can overindulge in sweet treats. Any natural teeth are still vulnerable to cavity-causing bacteria. Not to mention, sugar can feed bacteria found in plaque and tartar buildup. It can infect your gums, causing an infection called peri-implantitis.
You’re Still at Risk of Gum Disease
Peri-implantitis is an infection like gum disease and is a leading cause of dental implant failure. The early signs can include redness or swelling near the implant. With no treatment, it can destroy the supporting structures of your implant, which can cause it to loosen and fall out.
Dental Implants Can Last for a Lifetime
Although the risk of dental implant failure is less than 5%, it’s important to minimize any factors that can shorten the lifespan of your new smile. With the correct care, your dental implants can last for 30 years or more. You can get the most from your investment by committing to:
- Good Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth at least twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste. Floss between each tooth and around your dental implants daily. Use an antimicrobial mouthwash to kill any bacteria missed by your toothbrush and floss.
- A Healthy Lifestyle: Eat nutritious foods and limit your consumption of alcohol. It’s best to stop smoking to keep implant failure at bay.
- Regular Dental Care: Besides caring for your smile at home, visit your dentist every 6 months for a cleaning on checkup. If you develop any concerning symptoms between your regular appointments, don’t wait to contact your dentist.
Dental implants offer priceless benefits if you follow good oral hygiene at home. You’ll ensure your investment lasts by keeping your mouth healthy.
About Dr. Armin M. Tepner
Dr. Tepner earned his dental degree at Indiana University School of Dentistry and has regularly continued his education in many specialties, including dental implants. He is a proud member of the Implant Study Club. If you are ready to replace your lost teeth, request an appointment online or call (317) 622-6605.