Over the last 20 years, dental implants have become a popular way of replacing lost teeth, anchoring a bridge or providing anchors for removable dentures. Regardless of their role in your mouth, your implants represent a serious investment in your long-term oral form and function. Even though they are not subject to decay like natural teeth, they still do require routine care.
The abutment that anchors your implant to your jaw bone is made from titanium, which naturally integrates with the bone material. Bacterial plaque can still build up on the implanted teeth or denture anchors. Without regular brushing and flossing, this plaque can harden into tartar. So you will need to brush and floss twice daily.
Tartar at the gum line can cause your gums to recede from the base of the implants. This can very easily develop into inflammation and gum disease. Advanced gum disease can actually cause a loss of bone in the parts of the jaw that anchor the implant and cause you to lose it!
Once tartar forms, it is very hard for you to remove it at home. Only your dentist can completely remove tartar from your gum line, so be sure to keep up with your six month dental cleanings.
The crown or bridge of your implants does not stain at the same rate as the enamel of your natural teeth. If you use tobacco or if you enjoy drinks like coffee and tea, you might run into an issue with your natural teeth staining to a degree that they no longer perfectly match the implant.
If you have questions about the best way to maintain your implants and remaining natural teeth, please feel free to call us at 804-737-4444 to schedule an appointment.