How to Maintain Implants
Your teeth are an essential part of your mouth, enabling you to bite, chew, speak, and smile confidently. In the event of tooth loss, replacement is imperative. Today, you have several options available to you. At Timothy H. Kindt, DDS, one of these options is dental implants. Though implants are the most recent addition, they are one of the most popular. They consist of small titanium rods, which are surgically implanted into the jawbone, and ceramic crowns. Implants rely on osseointegration, or the fusion of your jawbone to the titanium, for success. Successful fusion turns the implants into stable roots that support your new teeth. While they offer numerous benefits, one of the biggest benefits of implants is that they stimulate the jawbone in a manner similar to your natural teeth. Because of this, they work to stop the bone loss that typically follows your teeth, preserving the integrity of your jawbone. However, in order for them to function properly, you must take proper care to maintain them.
The Importance of Implant Maintenance
The ceramic crowns used to replace your missing teeth cannot suffer tooth decay like natural teeth, so why is implant maintenance so important? While the crowns cannot get cavities, they can still collect plaque and oral bacteria, both of which can contribute to gum disease, as well as the decay of your natural teeth. Even if all of your teeth have been replaced, maintenance is still crucial. If gum disease occurs, oral bacteria can sneak below the gumline and lead to gum recession, which can lead to exposure of the titanium rods. The bacteria can also attack the jawbone, which can then cause it to become weak. When the bone is weak, the implants can then become loose, and you may experience implant failure.
Caring for Your Implants at Home
Maintaining your dental implants starts at home. Just like with your natural teeth, brushing and flossing should still be done every single day. You should continue to brush at least twice daily and floss at least once. Every time you brush, you should be sure to do so for two full minutes. During this time, be sure to cover all surfaces of your teeth. When you floss, do so between each tooth as well as behind the very back teeth. These habits help to remove plaque, bacteria and other debris from the surfaces of your natural teeth as well as the ceramic crowns supported by your implants.
Professional Oral Care
Along with home care, regular dental cleanings and exams are still important, even if all of your teeth have been replaced. Professional cleanings allow us to reach areas that you might be missing when you brush and floss at home. This helps to eliminate potentially harmful buildup from your teeth, preventing serious oral health issues. With exams, we look over all of your teeth, real and ceramic, as well as your gums and other oral structures. We check for signs of disease and damage. In the event that your implants are damaged, we can perform the necessary repairs to ensure that they continue to perform their job as effectively as possible.
Maintaining your dental implants ensures that they will provide you with a beautiful, fully-functional smile that will last the rest of your life. If you have any questions or concerns, call Timothy H. Kindt DDS today at (480) 939-5818.