Dental implants are becoming an increasingly popular option for replacing missing teeth. Although dental implants are designed to last for a long time, they can fail without proper care and maintenance. Just like with your natural teeth, it’s also important that you care for your implant to extend its lifespan.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants can improve your smile and your confidence. They are an excellent cosmetic option that do not rely on your neighbouring teeth for support.
A dental implant usually has three parts:
1. Crown (the implant’s visible part that looks like a natural tooth)
2. Abutment (connects the crown and the implant body)
3. Implant body (surgically inserted into the jawbone; this will act as the roots of the tooth)
The implant body, which is usually made of titanium, fuses with your jawbone through a process called osseointegration. This osseointegration is essential to the implant’s long-term stability.
The implant’s visible part, the crown, is often made of porcelain. It is fashioned to look like a natural tooth.
Do implants fail?
Like any other treatment, it is possible for dental implants to fail. They can fail for a variety of reasons, including insufficient bone, smoking, gum disease, inadequate oral hygiene, and poor maintenance. Teeth grinding can also place undue stress on teeth and implants, resulting in failure of the implant.
Some of the common signs to look for are:
- Moving and/or loose implants
- Receding gums
- Difficulty or discomfort while chewing or biting
- Pain or discomfort in or around the implant
- Sudden allergic reactions (i.e., your immune system might be rejecting the implant system)
How to care for your dental implant
Good oral hygiene is important to prevent many dental issues, including dental implants.
Here are some tips to care for your dental implant and extend its longevity:
- Gentle brushing twice a day
- Daily flossing will help remove plaque and buildup between the implant and natural teeth
- Using an oral irrigation device as an adjunct for removing debris
- Avoiding smoking
- Visiting your dentist once every 6 months (or as soon as possible if you notice pain or discomfort)
Immediate aftercare is also essential. You must allow enough time for recovery and for your implant to properly integrate with your jawbone. It is important to follow the dentist’s instructions regarding post-operative oral care and to keep the surgical site clean with antibacterial mouth rinses. You will also need to take medications as prescribed.
Regular check-ups are vital to ensure your implant’s longevity. During your visit, your dentist can monitor your implant and make sure it is in good condition. If you have any concerns or questions about your implant or general oral health, our friendly team is just a phone call away. Call us now on 9030 4310 to book your next appointment.