Tooth loss doesn’t just mean that you lose the portion of tooth structure that you see; it also means that your roots, the hidden anatomy that tethered that tooth to the bone, is also gone for good. The total impact of tooth loss tends to be much greater than a person imagines. Fortunately, because dental implants are the go-to procedure for tooth replacement today, most people will not have to experience the fullness of that impact. That is unless they forget the importance of oral hygiene.
Thou Shalt not forget to Brush and Floss
If there were commandments for dental implants, this might be the first on the list. When you hear it, you may think it makes perfect sense that you would still brush and floss your teeth, especially if you still have a good percentage of natural teeth left. What dentists have found, however, is that the perception of durability given by the inorganic titanium and porcelain or ceramic materials used to replace roots and teeth can misguide patients to become complacent about oral care.
The implant post is made of titanium, which does not corrode, and certainly, does not develop a disease. This post, however, is encased by the jawbone, and that bone tissue is alive. What is alive can deteriorate. Should the jawbone deteriorate, the implant post becomes loose, at the very least. In the worst case, the implant will fail.
Oral Hygiene-Back to the Beginning
Natural teeth and gums are susceptible to acidity. The mouth is a naturally acidic environment that we tend to only make worse with the foods we routinely consume. This acidity weakens enamel, and also causes the gums, connective tissue that supports teeth, to become inflamed. Replacing missing teeth with implants and ceramic restorations does not change the effect that acidity and oral bacteria have on oral health as a whole. Without good care, a dangerous process may be set into motion.
Gingivitis describes inflammation of the soft tissue around teeth. Beyond this inflammation is the infection, a progressive condition in the mouth that extends inward toward the bone; a right to the source of support for dental implants. Inflammation in the tissue around the implant is referred to as peri-implantitis, and it is no less serious than advanced gum disease that leads to the loss of natural teeth.
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We want to help you maintain the healthiest possible smile. Call (703) 448-1020 to schedule care with your experienced McLean dentist.