Dental Implants and Implant Care
At Kooning Family Dentistry, we can restore your missing teeth with dental implants. These small titanium rods, which are surgically placed into your jawbone, act as “roots” to support your false teeth. They can be used to replace any number of missing teeth, and come with numerous benefits. Some benefits include:
Given the number of benefits associated with dental implants, they are typically a better solution to missing teeth than dental dentures. One of the major drawbacks of traditional dentures is that they require significant maintenance. While dental implants don’t require special maintenance, but they do still require care.
Why Is Dental Implant Care So Important?
The dental implant replacement teeth can be taken care of just like your natural teeth. While ceramic and other materials cannot experience tooth decay as your natural teeth can, the material can still collect plaque. Plaque is the sticky substance that develops on your teeth throughout the day. If not removed daily, it can harden into tartar, a substance that is impossible to remove with your toothbrush. Tartar (or calculus) also has a rough texture, which makes it easy for the substance to collect more plaque.
Plaque also catches harmful oral bacteria, which feed on leftover food particles in your mouth. If bacteria are not removed, they multiply rapidly, producing acids that attack your natural teeth and irritate your gums. Even if you have no natural teeth left, the irritation to your gums can quickly turn into gum disease. The bacteria can get under your gums at the sites of your implants. Your gums may recede and the bacteria can attack your jawbone. This weakens the jawbone and loosens your dental implants, causing them to fail.
Caring for Your Implants at Home
Caring for your dental implants at home is no different from caring for your natural teeth. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day, and flossing at least once a day. Brushing should take place in the morning, and right before bed. You should be brushing for at least two minutes each time. When you floss, you should do so carefully, avoiding snapping the floss against your gums, which can cause bleeding and irritation. Mouthwash should also be used to dislodge any remaining particles between your teeth, kill any lingering bacteria, and give your breath a fresh scent.
The Importance of Regular Dental Visits
It is essential that you maintain your regular dental visits for cleanings and exams. It is often recommended that you go at least twice a year (every six months). During these visits, we give your teeth a thorough cleaning, making sure to scrape away all plaque and tartar buildup. We inspect your teeth (natural and replacement) and your gums, making sure that there are no signs of decay on your natural teeth, damage to any of your teeth (real or replacement), or gum disease. If we do find anything amiss, we can take action right away, which allows us to prevent a potentially serious issue from occurring. Together, we can help to keep the health of your mouth in tip-top shape!
With proper care of your dental implants, your new smile will last you a lifetime. For more information on how to best care for your dental implants, contact Kooning Family Dentistry today at (503) 673-9097!