Periodic monitoring of this tooth replacement system is important.
Taking the decision to replace your missing teeth with dental implants may not have been a straightforward one.
There are a number of factors you may have had to consider, including cost, suitability, and, potentially, the apprehension of undergoing a longer dental procedure.
Patients that do go ahead, often take advantage of the finance plans that we offer at the Confidental Clinic in Greenwich. This helps to spread the cost and helps manage what is many people’s main concern about having implants placed.
Those that do choose to have dental implants, rather than dentures, are nearly always glad that they did. This is a stable and secure replacement for natural teeth, and as close to the real thing as it is currently possible to achieve. Once placed though, your implants will need monitoring, along with your natural teeth.
Why implant check-ups?
Patients are sometimes confused as to why they need to have their implants checked on an ongoing basis, once they have been placed. From a layman’s perspective, they are after all, made from titanium, with the crown also being artificial. Because of this, they are right to deduce that their new replacement teeth can’t decay and from this perspective they are absolutely correct.
However, whilst dental implants won’t decay and are incredibly robust, that doesn’t mean that they will necessarily remain problem free if you ignore their aftercare.
Because the strength and stability of an implant depends on healthy jawbone into which the implant is secured, any threat to this could mean that the implant could work loose and may eventually even come out. Where gum disease takes hold, the jawbone can be compromised and cause an implant to fail. Fortunately gum diseases are largely preventable and a good oral care regimen at home coupled with regular visits to the hygienist at our Greenwich practice, should help you to avoid any problems.
Periodontitis is a well-known form of gum disease and occurs as a follow-on to early-stage disease called gingivitis. At this latter stage, the bacteria attacks the bone which is holding the implant in place. As the quality and/or quantity of bone decreases, the hold on the implant becomes weaker, causing it to loosen. The same applies when you have a natural tooth too.
Peri implantitis is similar but only occurs when an implant is in place, and not with a natural tooth. It is similar to periodontitis, but also affects the tissue around the implant, as well as the bone.
Both periodontitis and peri implantitis are threats to a healthy and successful implant, and care should be taken to avoid both of these gum problems.
Keeping your gums and dental implants healthy
The good news for dental implant patients is that achieving good gum health is relatively straightforward. Much of this can be done, on a daily basis, at home, with regular brushing and flossing between the teeth. Flossing is important and some people do find it difficult at first, but we are always happy to demonstrate how to do this effectively. Hopefully, you will soon find it easy to do.
Whether you have natural teeth or implants though, it is still important to have your teeth professionally cleaned, with a scale and polish carried out by the hygienist. They will also be able to offer advice on any changes in lifestyle etc that might be beneficial for your oral health.
Providing that you maintain good care at home, and with professional help, your new dental implants can last you for twenty years or even longer. Of course we do recommend that you maintain ongoing appointments with the dentist too. This is advisable for all of our Greenwich patients including those who have dental implants. Whilst, with good care, your implants should be problem free, it is still sensible to allow your dentist to monitor them on an ongoing basis.
If you have teeth implants and would like to see the hygienist, or if you have missing teeth and would like to find out more about replacing them, please call the Confidental Clinic for an appointment on 020 8858 1422.