Based on epidemiological studies, it is estimated that 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth.
If you are missing one or several of your teeth, you can restore your confidence and smile with dental implants.
Dental implants are titanium roots that are implanted into the jawbone in the place of missing teeth. Titanium is the most common material used in modern dental implants. Titanium is preferred as it is biocompatible and fuses to the jawbone to act as the natural root system of the teeth would. Each dental implant includes an abutment to which a crown is added.
The dental implant procedure
Dental implant surgery has two steps. In the first step, your dentist or periodontist will surgically insert the implant in the jawbone. You must then wait for the jawbone to merge with the implant before you can move to the next step. Healing can take several months.
Once the site of the implant has sufficiently healed, the abutment will be added, and then the crown will be affixed to complete the restoration.
The benefits of dental implants
The advantages of dental implants include:
- Improved functionality. Dentures can come loose to shift around in your mouth to make eating and speaking difficult. They can also fall out, causing embarrassment. Dental implants, on the other hand, are permanently attached to the jawbone and function like natural teeth.
- Enhanced confidence. Dental implants closely resemble natural teeth. With their natural appearance and improved function, you can eat, speak and smile with confidence.
- Improved oral health. You do not need to alter the teeth on either side of the gap to accommodate dental implants. Individual implants also allow you to clean between teeth, making it easier to maintain oral hygiene.
- Jawbone preservation. Tooth loss can lead to atrophy of the jawbone. Dental implants act like the roots of natural teeth to help prevent jawbone deterioration.
- Durability. Dental implants are a permanent tooth replacement option that can last a lifetime once good oral hygiene is maintained.
Tips for cleaning dental implants
Below are a few tips for cleaning your dental implants.
Brush twice a day
As with natural teeth, it is important that you brush your dental implants at least twice a day. Regularly brushing your teeth will help prevent a build-up of bacteria that can lead to issues such as peri-implantitis, inflammation of the soft tissue at the site of an implant. Peri-implantitis can lead to the deterioration of the bone supporting the dental implant, leading to implant loss.
You might want to consider using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Soft-bristled toothbrushes are just as effective as medium and hard brushes but are less likely to damage your gums.
Brush around and under the implant crown
When brushing, be sure to clean around and under your crown. An angled-neck toothbrush or an interdental brush with a slim head will make it easier to clean your dental implants.
Floss every day
Remember to floss at least once a day. If you can, it would be even better if you floss after every meal. Crown and bridge floss is designed to reach under and around implants. In the place of crown and bridge floss, you can use high-quality dental floss to gently remove food particles.
Consider a water flosser
A water flosser uses water pressure and pulsations to remove food particles in pockets as deep as 6 mm. Many dentists prefer water flossers as they are effective at cleaning, and unlike regular floss, they do not leave behind particles that could contribute to peri-implantitis.
Switch your toothpaste
Avoid using toothpaste with baking soda, stain-removing agents, or other abrasive ingredients. Abrasive ingredients can wear the acrylic coating of a dental crown, causing it to lose the lustre that contributes to its natural appearance. So look for toothpaste made for use on dental implants or ask your dentist for recommendations.
Visit your dentist regularly
The greatest responsibility for caring for your dental implants lies with you, the patient. However, you must still visit your dentist at least twice a year for routine checkups and professional cleaning. Doing so will help preserve your dental implants and your remaining natural teeth and maintain overall dental health.
Dental implants in Provo
If you are ready to get dental implants or need dental implant care, visit us at Sundance Implant and Periodontal Centre.
At Sundance Implant and Periodontal Centre, our board-certified periodontist specializes in individual implants as well as full-arch restorations for those who have lost many or all of their natural teeth. If you believe dental implants are right for you, we can help you understand the process. Did you just get dental implants? We can help you ensure they last for years to come.
Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.