You made a positive, smart choice when you invested in your dental implants. You opted for a long-term tooth-replacement solution that has a proven, high rate of success in patients of all ages.
But you may be nervous about taking care of your implants going forward. Are you doing enough to keep your teeth and your implants healthy? Can you get a cavity in dental implants?
No, you can’t, but that doesn’t mean they can’t sustain a different kind of infection if they aren’t cared for regularly.
What Is Peri-Implantitis?
Just like natural teeth, implants must be cleaned each and every day, or else plaque will build up on their surfaces. But the presence of plaque won’t lead to a cavity — instead, you could be dealing with peri-implantitis.
Peri-implantitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the tissue surrounding the implant. At first, the gums may bleed and become extremely sensitive, but more serious symptoms involve bone loss around the base of the implant.
This could result in gum recession, which would expose the abutment and supporting implant structure. The tooth could appear longer and eventually the entire implant could loosen.
Taking Care of Dental Implants
Peri-implantitis is completely preventable, if you make your dental health a priority.
First of all, responsible care of your dental implants starts with a daily oral hygiene routine. It’s important to floss every day and brush your teeth twice a day, at least two minutes each time. You also should consider using mouthwash to help completely rinse away bacteria after it has been dislodged through brushing and flossing.
Your oral surgeon or dentist may recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste that is nonabrasive. While natural teeth do not scratch easily, if the crown on your dental implant is scratched, bacteria can build up on the surface and contribute to infection.
Also, make sure you visit your dentist regularly, at least once every six months. The early signs of peri-implantitis may be difficult for you to spot, but a hygienist or dentist will notice trouble right away.
If you’re considering getting dental implants, or if you’re looking for a professional team to treat issues with your implants, Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery can help. Call today and schedule an assessment of your dental implants and find out if you have any cause for concern.