One of the appeals of dental implants is how easily they are cared for compared to other tooth replacement options. Just like natural teeth, it is important to keep the surfaces free of plaque and keep the surrounding gum tissue and jaw bone healthy.
Ridgetop Dental is a Sterling, VA dental practice specializing in expert dental implant treatment all under one roof. Learn more about how to care for your dental implants to ensure they last a lifetime.
Can Dental Implants Get Infected?
Because dental implants are metal, it is impossible for the implant itself to decay or develop a cavity. However, just because the artificial tooth cannot get a cavity does not make implants immune to inflammation. The gum tissue around the implant can become inflamed and infected, resulting in an infection called implantitis.
Implantitis is caused by the same bacteria that cause tooth decay in natural teeth. If left untreated, the bacteria can form dental calculus, which is a rough, hard deposit that can destroy the jawbone. Once calculus has developed, it cannot be removed by brushing alone and must be treated by a dental hygienist.
Calculus buildup can lead to implant failure. You can prevent this from occurring with regular brushing and flossing and regular check-ups with your dentist.
How To Keep Dental Implants Healthy
You can keep your dental implants free of plaque and calculus buildup with good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing twice a day will remove plaque and prevent it from hardening. Use an ADA-accepted toothbrush and ensure you pay attention to all sides of the implant, not just the front surface.
We recommend adding the following products to your routine to ensure dental implant health:
- Low-abrasive, tartar control toothpaste
- ADA-approved manual or electric toothbrush
- Dental floss
- Antimicrobial mouth rinse
In addition to your at-home routine, be sure to schedule regular dentist visits. Keeping these 6-month appointments will give your dentist an opportunity to check the implant and natural teeth.
What Should My Dentist Check For At Every Cleaning?
Your dentist will take an annual X-ray and compare them to make sure the implant is still firmly rooted. They will also ensure there is no shifting around in the gums and measure the gums around all of your teeth. The implant will be checked to make sure all of the components are properly attached and functional.
Dental Implant Maintenance in Sterling, VA
Taking care of your dental implants will keep your smile healthy and functional for a lifetime. To learn more about dental implants or to have yours inspected, schedule with Ridgetop Dental online or call us at (703) 520-7410.