Dental implants for replacing missing teeth are a popular option because they are the closest restoration to give a natural feeling. When placed and cared for properly, some implants can last decades – making them a wise investment in the long-run compared to other types of restorations. To maintain your implant’s ideal longevity, you must take care of your them like natural teeth. Every day you should brush and floss them, along with your remaining teeth, and also continue visiting the dentist for check-ups and cleanings.
You might think with dental implants, being made of inorganic materials, that you don’t need to maintain the same oral hygiene habits like natural teeth. However, bacterial plaque, the thin film of food particles, is still most responsible for dental disease and can affect your implant’s longevity and overall oral health.
Your implants, though, don’t exist in a bubble: they’re imbedded in real bone, surrounded by real gum tissue and placed next to real teeth. All these other living tissues are susceptible to infection caused by plaque, even from plaque on non-organic implants.
Because an implant’s attachment in the jaw differs from that of natural teeth, the bone and tissues surrounding your implant restoration could actually have a higher risk of infection. An implant is held directly into your bone whereas a natural tooth is held through the gum tissues (periodontal ligament) that is around and between the bone. Small fibers from the ligament attach bind, connecting the bone and tissues to the tooth, keeping it securely in place.
The periodontal ligament also supplies the tooth and surrounding tissues with nutrients and infection-fighting antibodies through a blood supply. Since a dental implant doesn’t have these biological connections, it doesn’t have the same natural protection from infection. Therefore, it is easier for the surrounding bone and tissues of an implant to become infected and harder to halt.
With your dental implants, daily oral hygiene habits are still essential for the best oral health and longevity of restorations. Make a commitment to brush and floss all your teeth and restorations like implants every day. Also stay on schedule as much as possible with your regular dental visits. If you notice anything of concern, such as bleeding, swelling, or redness, always reach out to your Scottsdale Dentist.
Your dental implants can be considered a long-term investment in both your smile and dental health by taking care of them with daily oral hygiene habits.
If you want to know more about receiving dental implant treatment or need more guidance on properly taking care of your implants – call us today! The Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implant Maintenance” is also an excellent source for more information on this topic.