A mistake many patients make that have had implants to replace missing teeth is slacking on their regular dental appointments. Many people think because the teeth are not real that there is no danger of decay or infection in their mouth, which means they do not need to keep coming to the dentist every six months. Unfortunately, the opposite is true – regular dental care is even more essential when you have dental implants in order to ensure the integrity and longevity of these dental restorations or you could be at risk for losing them sooner than you think.
Dental implants require precise cleaning around the restorations. If debris and/or bacteria were allowed to fester in little areas surrounding the implant, your implant could become loose and ineffective. Your gums are still “real” which means they are still able to become infected, especially in the vulnerable areas surrounding the implants. In order to remove the danger of plaque and bacteria infesting the implant and surrounding areas, you need regular professional cleanings in addition to the daily cleanings you provide your implants.
The Difference Between Implants and Teeth
Aside from the obvious difference that implants are not “real” teeth and your natural teeth are “real”, is the difference in the way the implants are structured in your mouth. Your natural teeth have fibers that hold it in place. These fibers help to keep debris and bacteria away from the tooth, helping to keep in intact. If there is an infection, it can be caught early on and a resolution found, typically allowing your natural tooth to stay intact. With implants, there are no fibers – the tooth is directly attached to the jawbone via the titanium screw. This renders the implant very vulnerable to infection and disease because if there is a disease in the gum or jawbone, it is directly positioned at the tooth, making it come loose in some cases.
Don’t worry, getting a regular cleaning and having the plaque and bacteria removed will not damage the porcelain crown on your dental implant – our dental hygienists know the proper methods to handle the removal of the harmful substances from your mouth without damaging the implant. What is most important is that you get the debris and bacteria out of your mouth. Leaving it there will leave you without your dental restorations and a very serious disease to contend with in your mouth.
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