Dental implants are a popular tooth replacement option, and for good reason: with proper care, they can replace natural teeth for a lifetime. Just like with natural teeth, implants only last as long as you care for them, and not caring for them properly can lead to infection and implant loss. Dr. Datta Malyavantham is a Sterling, VA implant dentist who wants to make sure your new smile lasts for the rest of your life.
Can Dental Implants Get Infected?
Because dental implants are not made of natural tissue, the implant itself cannot get infected in the traditional sense. However, the longevity of the dental implant can be in jeopardy when gum tissue around the implant becomes inflamed. This kind of infection is known as implantitis. Implantitis affects the soft and hard tissues surrounding dental implants.
Dental implants can become covered in the same destructive bacteria that cause periodontal infections in natural teeth and, if left undisturbed, these bacteria can form dental calculus. Calculus is a rough hard deposit that can eat away at the supporting gum and bone that surround the implant and hold it in place in the jaw. Once calculus has established itself, this deposit cannot be brushed or flossed off and can only be removed by a dental hygienist. Failure to do this can lead to receding gum tissue and bone loss and may result in the implant falling out.
How to Care For Dental Implants
Dental implants are easy to care for. You can avoid dental calculus by keeping your implants free of plaque, which you can do by simply brushing and flossing them just as you would your natural teeth. Dr. Datta suggests using the following good oral hygiene tips:
- Small, soft, ADA-approved manual toothbrush or an electric brush
- Low-abrasive, tartar-control toothpaste
- Dental floss for cleaning around the implant
- Antimicrobial mouth rinses
Not only should you perform dental hygiene at home daily, but be sure to schedule regular visits to Ridgetop Dental. It is recommended that you have a professional exam and cleaning every 3-6 months. You should also have your dental implants examined by x-ray annually.
What Should My Dentist Check For At Every Cleaning?
Our dental team will probe and measure the gums around the implant the same as they do around your teeth, check and compare x-rays annually, ensure the implant is firmly in place, and check the bite and that all of the components are attached properly to the implant and are functioning properly.
Ridgetop Dental Implants
If you think you would benefit from implants due to missing or broken teeth or need the implants you already have inspected, Dr. Datta and his team at Ridgetop Dental in Sterling, VA are ready to help. Please call us at (703) 520-7410 or schedule a consultation online today!