September 10, 2018
Dental implants in Plano offer a true long-term solution to the problem of tooth loss. Of course, like your natural teeth, they require a reasonable degree of self-care. This includes daily brushing, rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash and seeing your dentist every 3 to 6 months for a routine cleaning and checkup.
Why Dental Implants Need Regular Care
Dental patient sometimes wonder why their implants require the same types of care as their natural teeth. After all, an implant can’t become infected, right?
While this is true, your oral health is more involved than it may first appear. Underneath your gums are a series of bones that support your jaw and give shape to your face. The same harmful bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease can infect these bones and cause decay beneath the surface. When this happens, the results can include:
- Bone loss through a process known as resorption. Not only will this weaken your implants, it can even cause facial disfigurement.
- Inflammation throughout your face and jaw.
- Extensive infections that can spread into your bloodstream, attacking your overall health.
Fortunately you can prevent these problems by taking the following basic steps:
- Brushing at least twice-daily. Dentist usually recommend a low-abrasive tartar control toothpaste for people who wear implants.
- Cleaning in between your teeth with an interdental toothbrush. You may also use dental floss if you prefer.
- Using a fluoridated dental rinse or mouthwash.
- Avoiding sweets. Decay-causing bacteria love to consume sugar; in fact, it’s their preferred fuel source.
- Steering clear of tobacco. Cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, etc., can all have devastating effects on your entire body. Now is the time to quit them for good.
- Eating a healthy, well-rounded diet that includes lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables and calcium sources such as reduced-fat cheese and yogurt.
What Will Happen to Your Implants If You Ignore Your Oral Health?
The answer is that they will probably fail. This process usually begins with gum inflammation and bleeding, followed by bone loss. You can think of this process as similar to what happens to a building when its foundation begins to erode. The structure might be a mighty skyscraper climbing high into the sky. But, when its base starts to weaken, it will crash to the ground. The same thing can happen to your implants unless you give yourself the daily dental care you deserve.
If bone-related implant failure does occur, then the only option is for your dentist in Plano to replace the original implants and start all over. In most cases this will require reconstructive bone grafts to your jaw, a lengthy and uncomfortable procedure.
They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is certainly true when it comes to dental implants. Implant therapy can give you a new lease on life. But what happens from that point on is up to you.
Brushing, flossing, eating a healthy diet and seeing your dentist for regular appointments will not only protect your implant investment, it will lay the foundation for a happy, healthy life going forward. So take care of yourself. After all, you’re more than worth it.
About the Author
Dr. Bhavita Patel earned her DMD degree in 2004 from the University of Florida College of Dentistry. She’s a proud member of the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Society. You can reach her office online or by calling (972) 423-0880.
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