Dental implants are designed to last your lifetime – with proper maintenance, that is. Although the replacement teeth attached to dental implants are not ‘natural’ teeth, they need regular maintenance so they are a lifetime benefit.
Dental implants require regular dental cleanings, which is the case for natural teeth as well as dental implants. The frequency of these visits, however, can vary from person to person and may pertain to the type of implant they have or their health status. Some people need more frequent dental cleanings because of their susceptibility to bacteria in the mouth, which can lead to periodontal (gum) disease. For those with dental implants, cleanings also help prevent inflammation caused by a bacterial biofilm of tissues surrounding the implant. If this forms and not removed, it can result in eventual disintegration of the bone that supports your implants.
Natural teeth are attached to the jaw bone by the tooth’s root through fibers within the tooth. These fibers extend from the tooth and connect it to the jaw bone and surrounding gum tissues. Dental implants are secured by the bone while surrounding gum tissues hold onto the surface of the implants. The implanted portion, which supports attached replacement teeth, is held by the jaw and gives replacement teeth the same stable foundation your natural teeth once had.
Professional cleanings involve special instruments to avoid damaging the implants beneath the gum tissues. The time also allows for removal of any build-up as well as regular monitoring to ensure your implants are sound and attached teeth are functioning properly. Typically, our patients with implants also see these check-ups as periodic sessions to help them with proper techniques for oral home care, including brushing and flossing to control bacteria.
Implant crowns and other tooth replacements attached to dental implants are made to be remarkably durable. For some, however, enjoying dental implants for a lifetime requires more frequent cleanings and check-ups. The reward is a healthy mouth and the ability to eat and laugh comfortably and confidently. To discuss dental implants or how to avoid (or combat) periodontal (gum) disease, call (586) 739-2155.