How Do I Care For My Dental Implants?
Can you name a wonder of modern dentistry? Many patients would choose the dental implant.
A true prosthetic tooth from root structure to crown, the dental implant has a reported success rate of up to 98 percent. Whether a patient needs to replace one tooth with a single implant, multiple teeth with implant-supported bridgework or a full arch of fixed or removable dentures, implant dentistry is usually the treatment of choice in Pittsburgh for tooth replacement.
How Implants Work
When a specially-trained implant dentist such as Gary W. Machiko DMD LLC considers placing an implant, he first ensures that the patient has healthy gums and sufficient jaw bone width and density to accept the titanium screw which anchors this restoration. This is confirmed through x-rays and state-of-the-art imaging techniques.
The implant is then screwed directly into the jawbone. After healing, a metal post is attached to the implant, and an individually-crafted crown is glued to the post. The patient now has a beautiful new tooth that looks and works like a natural tooth.
Dental Implants Last with Good Care
Dental implants can last for the rest of the individual's life, but excellent aftercare is critical to the longevity of the device. While implant failure is not common, an infection called peri-implantitis can occur if you don't take good car of your implant.
Peri-implantitis resembles a serious gum condition called periodontitis. In layman's terms, this is advanced gum disease where oral pathogens attack gum tissue and bone, literally destroying both and loosening teeth. Bacteria similar to those associated with gum disease are present in peri-implantitis.
How can peri-implantitis be avoided? Take care of your implant! The American Academy of Implant Dentistry maintains that taking care of implants is much the same as caring for natural teeth. This involves 5 simple things:
- Eat a healthy diet, limiting sugary foods. While implants don't decay, they do collect harmful plaque and tartar at the gumline just as natural teeth do. Limiting unhealthy carbs helps curb the accumulation of plaque.
- Brush your teeth twice daily, and carefully floss at least once a day. Some people prefer small interdental brushes to remove food particles from around their implants.
- Stick with a semi-annual exam and cleaning schedule at the dentist's office. Small dental problems can remain small with routine preventive dentistry.
- Don't smoke. It's not good for overall health, and it's a major factor in your likelihood to suffer from peri-implantitis.
Gary W. Machiko DMD LLC
Dr. Machiko in Pittsburgh is expert in all phases of implant dentistry. From diagnosis to planning treatment to placing the implant and crown, Dr. Machiko aims to give you a fabulous looking and forever smile. He and his staff would be happy to explain how best to care for dental implants. For more information, call the office at (412) 367-1319.