Dental implants are made of metal and porcelain or another tooth-colored substance. None of these components can be damaged by tooth decay. However, gum disease can cause problems that could lead to the failure of the implants.
Dental Implants and Cavities
Tooth decay cannot affect dental implants, since they aren’t made of organic materials. The titanium of the roots and the porcelain or composite resin of the crowns are impervious to the action of the bacteria that causes tooth decay. However, if you have implants, your dentist will probably want you to visit more frequently to be sure you haven’t developed gum disease.
You will also want to keep a close watch on any remaining natural teeth to be sure no cavities develop there. The abutments of your implants as well as your new prosthetic teeth can collect food particles and bacteria, so you should brush and floss regularly even though these teeth cannot decay. Cleaning your implants helps keep your other teeth free of decay.
Dental Implants and Gum Disease
Of greater concern to the health of your implants is gum disease. Healthy gums are vital to the long-term success of implants because the gum tissue provides support to keep the implants in place. Extensive inflammation or infection in the gums can lead to loose implants and even loss of your new teeth. It’s very important, then to practice diligent oral hygiene. This includes regular brushing and flossing as well as check-ups with your dentist.
Your cosmetic dentist or implant dentist will provide you with guidelines regarding how often you should go in for regular checkups. You’ll probably be encouraged to see the dentist more often than every six months, especially at first, to be sure no problems are developing with your implants. At-home care, in-office examinations and regular cleanings, and regular evaluation of the state of your gums will all help keep your mouth healthy and ensure your implants last well into the future.