Over the last twenty years, dental implants have become a popular way of replacing lost teeth and anchoring dental implants and bridges. Your implants represent a serious investment in your long-term dental health and function. With proper care and an effective oral hygiene regimen, they can last for many years to come.
The abutment that anchors your implant to your jaw bone is made from titanium. Crowns and bridges are made from materials like porcelain and gold, which are not subject to tooth decay the way natural teeth are. Even considering all of this, you still should not be cavalier and forgo brushing and flossing.
Bacterial plaque can still build up on the implanted teeth. Over time, plaque buildup can harden into tartar. Tartar at the gum line can cause your gums to recede from the implanted tooth. If left unchecked it can develop into gum disease. Advanced gum disease, also known as periodontitis, can cause a loss of bone in the parts of the jaw that anchor the implant and cause it to fail.
You should also keep in mind that dental implants do not stain at the same rate as the enamel of your natural teeth. Porcelain crowns in your smile are matched to the color of your teeth to blend in with your surrounding teeth. If you use tobacco or enjoy drinks like coffee and tea, you might run into an issue with your natural teeth staining to a degree that they no longer perfectly match the implant.
Visiting your dentist twice a year for your regular checkup will also go a long way toward maintaining gum health and helping to remove minor surface stains from your remaining natural teeth.
If you have questions about the best way to maintain your implants and remaining natural teeth, please feel free to call us at 973.383.5700 to schedule an appointment.