Losing a tooth due to gum disease can be a depressing situation, but there are advanced cosmetic options available to replace a lost tooth. A dental implant is one. An implanted tooth denture not only looks exactly like the original tooth, but it also performs in the exact manner as the original. Unlike removable dentures, an implant affixes directly to the jaw bone and is intended as a permanent replacement. Patients who receive an implant, however, should never view the new appliance as a "fake tooth" that doesn't require the same care and attention as a real one. In fact, an implant may need more care to ensure preservation.
Bacteria and Implant Support
Just as is the case with a real tooth, bacteria and plaque can build up on an implant. If left unchecked, the implant will become loose due to bone loss -- a condition referred to as peri-implantitis. And unfortunately, restoring an implant that falls out would be extremely unlikely. An implant drilled into the jaw requires sufficient bone in the jaw to remain solidly in place. Often times, the condition of the teeth -- and associated gum and bone -- probably was not in good condition to begin with since tooth loss has occurred, and attempting a second implant wouldn't be advised. The sad truth is that allowing things to get worse after implant surgery could, ultimately, mean the original procedure was for naught.
Many steps beyond the basics of good dental hygiene could assist the health and life of the implants. Here are two possible approaches worth researching:
Exploring Elective Root Planing
Root planing, a deep cleaning procedure, is commonly performed when the gums are terribly inflamed and tartar and plaque have built up on the roots. Root planing is not usually performed as an elective procedure. Patients whose teeth are fine and only require a basic cleaning and scaling don't exactly need a deep cleaning. Those with implants who are worried about bone loss may wish to discuss the topic of elective root planing with the dentist.
Using a Dental Guard
Problems with the gums and bone may result from teeth grinding or biting. Grinding is a problem for normal teeth, but it can be worse for implants since they could loosen. Procuring a dental night guard may help reduce the damage, but only if acquired in time. Do not wait until a routine checkup for the dentist to make recommendations for treating grinding. Those who notice any soreness in the teeth or sensitivity should have a dentist check things out immediately. Consider any persistent ache or sensitivity being checked out. Putting things off because the routine appointment is "only three months away" could mean the end of the implant.
Visit the Dentist More Frequently
Visiting the dentist twice a year is a good plan. Those seriously worried about their dental implants may even wish to see the dentist three times a year. Being overly cautious and seeing the dentist more frequently is not exactly going to harm the teeth.
For more information about dental implants, visit a dental clinic in your area, like Dental Care Of Scottsburg - Randol O Woolbright Jr DDS.