Dental implants have grown in popularity over the years. People realize that an implant provides a tooth-replacement option that feels and looks like a natural tooth.
Unlike other replacements for missing teeth, a dental implant does not sit at the gum line. Instead, during a simple in-office procedure, the implant is placed through the gums into the bone of the jaw. Once the implant has been placed, the cells of the jawbone grow around it, and the device heals into position.
The stability provided by the integration of the jawbone with the dental implant makes it a suitable support for many different restorative devices, such as dentures and dental bridges.
Additionally, the placement of the implant within the jaw allows continued stimulation of the jawbone. Stimulation from chewing signals the bones of the jaw to create new bone cells. The production of the new cells prevents the jawbone from becoming thin and brittle.
Although a dental implant is a preferred method of restoring a lost tooth, the implant can still incur problems if certain precautions are not taken. Here are a few measures that you should take to preserve your implant.
Brush Your Teeth
A dental implant is made of titanium metal, which cannot decay. However, the success of the implant is dependent on the device's ability to remain in place.
As you brush your teeth, you remove plaque and oral bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Dental decay and gum disease may result in infections that spread to the bone of the jaw. As the jawbone shrinks around a dental implant, the implant may not remain stable within the jawbone. If the implant shifts from its normal position or loses its connection with the bone, the implant will fail.
Protect Your Teeth From Trauma
A blow to the mouth or the force from grinding your teeth can cause a dental implant to shift in the jawbone. In order to protect the implant, it is important to protect your teeth and implants properly.
If you participate in contact sports, such as basketball, football, or soccer, wear a sports guard. The guard should fit comfortably over your teeth and be made of soft, shock-absorbent material.
Protection is also needed if you suffer from bruxism, a condition that causes you to grind your teeth at night. Special mouthguards are available to prevent the grinding from damaging your teeth and implants as your sleep.
For more information about protecting your dental implants, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your local area, as Silverstone Family Dental.