May 18, 2023
When you invest in dental implants and upkeeping them, they have the ability to continue serving you for anywhere from 25 years to the rest of your life. In fact, their longevity is one of the biggest benefits they offer, making them a gold standard for tooth replacement. In order to get the most out of your new restorations, you’ll need to take care of them, because just like your natural teeth, they can fall victim to lingering oral health problems. Even though they’re made from durable dental materials, oral health problems can impact their lifespan, just not in the way that they would with your natural pearly whites.
Can Dental Implants Develop Cavities?
Cavities develop because of an increase in harmful oral bacteria. As bacteria multiply, typically due to poor oral hygiene, they produce waste in the form of enamel-eroding acid that deteriorates the outermost protective layer of teeth. Eventually, a simple untreated cavity can progress into an infection within the tooth, impacting the soft tissues and pulp within the dental structure.
Implant crowns, dentures and bridges are crafted from biocompatible, natural-looking dental materials like ceramic and porcelain, so while they can’t suffer from decay, they can still be impacted by the build-up of harmful oral bacteria. When this occurs, other oral health problems can develop that can compromise the health and lifespan of your replacement teeth.
What Causes Dental Implants to Fail?
The most common cause of dental implant failure is an infection called peri-implantitis. If you smoke, have poor oral hygiene or have a history of gum disease, you’re at a higher risk of experiencing this problem. Peri-implantitis causes inflammation around the implants as well as damage to the supportive bone and tissue structures holding the implants in place, eventually causing them to become loose.
The Key to Longevity is Good Maintenance
Even though your implant restorations can’t develop cavities, they can become affected by poor oral hygiene, eventually causing them to fail. To maximize your investment and improve the lifespan of your replacement teeth, be sure to follow these maintenance tips:
- Floss your teeth daily
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush
- Visit your dentist every six months for checkups and cleanings
- Avoid foods that are excessively hard or sticky
- Try to quit bad oral habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
If you run into any concerns with your dental implants, it’s important to immediately contact your dentist, so if you do have a lingering oral health problem, it gets addressed before it has a chance to become worse!
About the Author
Dr. Rafiq Hirji’s favorite part of being a dentist is being able to have a long-lasting, positive impact on his patients’ lives. He strives to not only rebuild smiles, but also maintain them for a lifetime with thorough, routine preventive dentistry, like checkups and cleanings. For questions or to schedule an appointment, contact Daily Smiles MacArthur’s website or call 972-546-4114.
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