At Oregon Periodontics, P.C., we provide dental implants to replace your missing teeth and restore your quality of life. Implants are a unique treatment that requires a surgical procedure, during which small titanium rods are implanted into the jawbone. The bone fuses to the implants as you heal, turning them into stable roots that support your replacement teeth. Implants offer numerous benefits over traditional replacement options including bridges and dentures. They are more comfortable, more natural in appearance, and they help to preserve the health and integrity of your jawbone. Unlike traditional dentures, implants do not require additional special maintenance. For them to remain strong and successful, however, they should be properly cared for.
Why Is Implant Care So Important?
The crowns of dental implants are made from ceramic. Unlike the material used for dentures, these crowns can be brushed with your regular toothbrush and toothpaste. You may be wondering why they should be brushed in the first place. After all, ceramic cannot decay or develop cavities like enamel. While this may be true, ceramic can still collect plaque throughout the day. Plaque is a sticky substance that forms on the surfaces of your teeth. It can be easily removed with brushing and flossing. If it is not removed, it can eventually harden into tartar, which cannot be removed at home. Tartar is rough in texture, which makes it much easier for new buildup to accumulate.
Plaque can capture oral bacteria, which produce harmful acids. Bacteria multiply quickly. They produce harmful acids that can erode your natural teeth. Both plaque and bacteria can also irritate the gum tissue, causing it to swell. This is the earliest stage of gum disease. The bacteria can then fall below the swollen gumline and begin attacking the jawbone below. As gum disease progresses, the bone grows weak. This can compromise your implants and put them at risk for failure.
Caring for Your Implants at Home
Caring for your dental implants at home is no different from caring for your natural teeth. Even if all of your teeth have been replaced with implants, it is still important to take care of them as if they were natural. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day. When you brush, you should be doing so for at least two minutes. During those two minutes, it is important to clean all surfaces of your teeth, including the fronts, backs, and the chewing surfaces. Flossing should be done at least once a day. It is important that you do not force the floss or snap it against your gums. Floss between each tooth, scraping both sides, and do not forget behind the very back teeth. Mouthwash can also be used to kill any lingering bacteria.
Professional Care With Cleanings and Exams
Professional dental cleanings and exams are just as important as your oral care routine at home. It is recommended that you have at least two cleanings a year. While this might not seem like much, these visits do a lot. Cleanings allow for all stubborn buildup to be removed from the surfaces of your teeth as well as your implants, further aiding in the prevention of serious issues. Exams help to detect oral health issues in their earliest stages. During your exams, the implants are also examined for signs of damage. Should anything be found, action can be taken right away. This helps to ensure the longevity of your implants as well as the health of your mouth.
Caring for your implants helps to ensure that they remain strong, stable and beautiful. They are designed to last a lifetime, and caring for them will help to keep it that way. If you have any questions or concerns about the care of dental implants, call Oregon Periodontics, P.C., today at (503) 575-7750.