Dental implants are a wonderful means to replace missing teeth, and have numerous advantages over more traditional options, such as fixed bridges and dentures. However, like anything else related to the human body, they require constant attention when maintaining your oral health. Brushing and flossing twice a day are still the gold-standard in preventing gum disease and tooth decay, but I have had numerous patients ask me the following questions...
"Dr Lovda, can dental implants get cavities?"
"If my dental implant is made of metal and porcelain, why do I need to brush it?"
"Can dental implants fail?"
All great questions so far. The answer is YES! While dental implants are made of metal and porcelain (both prosthetic materials), your body is still the "host" and must be maintained in a healthy manner. A great analogy would be comparing a well-built house located on top of a sink-hole... causing the house to fall apart as it tragically falls into the developing sinkhole. Your alveolar bone (i.e. jaw bone) and the supporting gingival (i.e. gums) tissue are still affected by bacteria and infections. While it is true that bacteria cannot cause porcelain or metal to decay, the bone and gums around the implant certainly can, leading to an infection that can cause an dental implant to fail.
"Dr. Lovda, how do I prevent my dental implant from failing"? Another great question. For the vast majority of patients, dental implants fail due to lack of good home care. Brushing, flossing twice a day are the gold standard and should never be put off. Avoid drug use and consuming tobacco in all forms. Maintain a healthy diet with minimal refined sugar consumption. And lastly, visiting Lovda Family Dental every 6 months for a professional cleaning and check-up will put you at huge advantage in maintaining excellent health.
"What can break a natural tooth, can break a fake tooth." There is immense truth in this statement.
Do you have dental implants? Have you had a dental cleaning and check-up recently? At Lovda Family Dental, my team and I take pride to explain, and if necessary, demonstrate the necessary oral hygiene skills needed to maintain excellent oral health. Contact our Hoffman Estates, IL office today for a fresher, brighter smile tomorrow!
Till next time, keep brushing and smile on!