How to Maintain Dental Implants
Dental implants are a fairly recent, revolutionary treatment designed to replace missing teeth, restoring your oral health, your smile, and your quality of life. Recently, they have quickly become one of the most popular options for replacing missing teeth. They consist of small titanium rods, which are surgically implanted into your jawbone. The success of dental implants relies on osseointegration, or the fusion of the bone to the titanium rods. The implants become stable roots that support your replacement teeth. At Neil Starr, DDS, PC, we offer this treatment to give you back the functions of your mouth and your quality of life. Implants offer numerous benefits over traditional tooth replacement options. One of the biggest is their ability to stop the bone loss that would normally follow tooth loss. In order for them to function properly, however, implants need to be maintained.
How Important Is Maintenance?Proper maintenance of your dental implants is essential. While ceramic crowns cannot suffer decay, they can still collect plaque and bacteria. When left to build up in your mouth, both of these can cause decay in any remaining healthy teeth. This buildup can also lead to gum disease. If gum disease occurs, your gum tissue begins to pull away from all of your teeth, including the ceramic ones, creating pockets. Bacteria fall into these pockets and begin attacking your jawbone. Over time, the bone weakens. The stability of your implants becomes compromised, and you may even experience implant failure.
Caring for Your Implants at HomeGood oral hygiene starts at home. Dental implants can be maintained just like your natural teeth. You should brush your teeth, including your ceramic ones, at least twice a day, for two minutes every session. Use a soft bristled brush and gentle, circular motions. Aggressive brushing can irritate the gum tissue and lead to gum recession. It is also important that you floss at least once every day. When you floss, be sure to use a gentle back and forth motion to work the string between your teeth. Gently scrape up and down the sides of each tooth, as well as behind the teeth at the very back of your mouth.
Professional Oral CareAlong with home maintenance, attending regular dental visits for cleanings and exams is still just as important now as it was before. During your cleanings, all of the buildup is removed from the surfaces of all of your teeth. The teeth are also polished to give them a healthy shine. During your exams, the condition of the soft tissues of your mouth, your gums, and your teeth are carefully looked over. These areas are checked for signs of damage, decay, disease, and other issues. The condition of your dental implants is also closely inspected. If damage is found, the crowns can be removed so that maintenance can be performed. Once complete, your teeth are set back in place.
Proper maintenance of your dental implants will help to ensure that you have a beautiful, fully-functional set of teeth that will last you a lifetime. If you have any questions or concerns about the maintenance of your dental implants, contact Neil Starr, DDS, PC at (202) 293-7177 today.