Teeth are supposed to last a lifetime, but because of oral diseases and physical trauma, they often don’t. Dental implants are an excellent choice for people who are facing tooth loss. Unlike dentures, dental implants are anchored within the jawbone itself. This provides stability for the crown, which is the visible, white part of the implant that looks like a natural tooth. It also helps preserve the jawbone density, since every time you chew food the stimulation triggers the strengthening of the bone underneath.
When you receive dental implants, your cosmetic dentist will tell you everything you need to know about caring for them properly. Maintaining good oral health habits will help your dental implants, as well as your remaining natural teeth, last for as long as possible.
Can dental implants get cavities?
The good news is that dental implants cannot get cavities or tooth decay like natural teeth can. However, failing to take care of them properly can still make them fail prematurely due to other health complications.
Normally, a tooth will develop cavities when plaque isn’t removed from the surface. Plaque is a sticky substance comprised of bacteria. It readily adheres to the surface of the teeth. Bacteria release acid byproducts, which eats away at the enamel on the top-most layer of the tooth. As the enamel on the surface of a tooth is worn away, tooth decay develops. The bacteria can invade beneath the surface of the tooth, causing worsening damage unless a dentist detects the cavity and treats it.
Dental implants are not made of enamel. The crown, which is the only visible part above the gum line, is made of porcelain. Because of this, it’s impossible for the acids to wear away the surface.
How dental implants can fail prematurely
Although dental implants can’t get cavities, it’s still very important to take good care of your oral hygiene—even if all of your natural teeth have been replaced by implants. This is because the bacteria can still adhere to the crowns, including the sensitive area along the gum line. An infection of the gum tissue is called gum disease.
Gum disease starts with gingivitis, which causes the gums to become reddened, puffy, and inflamed. They also become sensitive, and they may bleed when you brush or floss. You might also notice bad breath. The longer gum disease goes untreated, the worse it gets. As gingivitis progresses to advanced periodontitis, the underlying jaw structures sustain damage. Without treatment, gum disease can cause the failure of your dental implants.
To take good care of your oral health, brush your teeth at least twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Floss at least once daily and see your dentist every six months or as recommended.
Talk to a Long Island cosmetic dentist about dental implants
Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry are experts in working with patients who suffer from tooth loss. It’s the mission of our practice to help each patient enjoy the beautiful and complete smile they deserve. If you’ve already lost one or more teeth, or you’ve been told that you will need a tooth extraction, you can come talk to our implant dentists about your options.
Call to schedule a consultation for dental implants in Huntington, LI and find out if you could be a good candidate for a smile restoration.
Additional resources on dental implants:
- Mayo Clinic, Cavities/Tooth Decay, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cavities/symptoms-causes/syc-20352892
- Mouth Healthy, Implants, https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/i/implants