Since dental implant crowns are not made of actual dental enamel, they cannot get cavities. However, after receiving dental implants, patients should know that neglecting to practice good oral hygiene could damage the implant and promote cavities in their remaining healthy teeth.
The artificial tooth attached to a dental implant post and abutment is called a “crown.” Porcelain or ceramic implant crowns work best to match the color of natural teeth, and ideal for people who are allergic to metals.
Why are Dental Implants Resistant to Cavities?
Teeth are protected by dental enamel, the hardest, mineralized material produced by the body. Enamel, along with dentin and other tissues, compose all teeth in humans and mammals. When poor dental hygiene practices allow oral bacteria to feed unchecked on acids and food particles, the porousness of dental enamel allows bacteria to erode enamel.
Underneath dental enamel is dentin, an even more porous material made of microscopic tubules that extend into the middle of the tooth. Once oral bacteria “eat” through the enamel and reach dentin, tooth decay and cavities rapidly develop unless proactively treated by a dentist.
Alternately, dental implant crowns are not porous or susceptible to bacterial erosion. Synthetic materials like porcelain and ceramic can only be damaged by extreme forces that cause chipping, cracking, or breaking. Dental implants suffering breakage will need crowns replaced to avoid replacing the entire implant.
Caring for Dental Implants
After receiving a dental implant in Melbourne, it might take you a little to adjust to this new appliance in your mouth. However, our oral surgeon will give you all of the instructions to care for your dental implants down the road. In most cases, you’ll want to follow these oral care tips:
Use Soft-bristled Toothbrushes
Medium and hard-bristled toothbrushes do not clean your teeth any better than soft-bristled toothbrushes. In fact, hard bristles can cause gums to bleed and push oral bacteria into microscopic cuts in gums. Brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush for two minutes removes oral bacteria, keeps your mouth oxygenated, and significantly reduces the risk of cavities.
Dental Floss or Water Flosser?
If you do not have dental implants, bridges or crowns, you can safely floss after brushing using regular dental floss. However, your oral surgeon may recommend using an oral irrigator to prevent implant inflammation, sometimes caused by regular floss. Particles shed by plastic floss during flossing could promote peri-implantitis, an inflammatory condition affecting gums and tissues surrounding the implant. For people who do not want to use oral irrigators, floss designed for bridges and crowns can be used to clean dental implants.
Dental Implant Toothpaste
Avoid using toothpaste containing stain removers like peroxide or baking soda, as it can abrade implant crowns and remove protective glaze coatings on porcelain implants. If you aren’t sure what kind of toothpaste to use, ask your oral surgeon in Melbourne. Special toothpaste for dental implants and other tooth replacements are available at most pharmacies.
Take Extra Care to Brush Around and Under Dental Implant Crowns
Although dental implants can’t get cavities, bacteria may accumulate around your implant. This increases the chance for peri-implantitis or other dental infections. If you have difficulty reaching recessed areas with a standard toothbrush, use an angled toothbrush to adequately clean molar dental implants.
Signs of Dental Implant Problems
Swollen, sore gums surrounding the implant, pain when biting down on an implant, or loose implants indicate the need to visit your oral surgeon in Melbourne immediately. To avoid infections or more rarely, peri-implantitis, do not smoke after getting dental implants. People with certain pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis may not be suitable candidates for dental implants, since these diseases put them at risk for peri-implantitis.
Leading Florida oral surgeon, Dr. Sedaros, will be happy to answer all your questions during a consultation regarding dental implants. Other tooth replacement options are available if dental implants may not be right for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment today with Dr. Sedaros to learn more about dental implants.