Dental implants placed at our Edgewood dentist office are some of the most advanced tooth replacement options available. If you’ve been fortunate enough to have dental implants placed at Edgewood Dental Care or any other qualified provider you know how much they have changed your life! You can chew your favorite foods with ease, smile confidently, and you never have to worry about your dentures again!
Whether you have a single implant or have benefited from a full mouth solution your dental implants have been an investment in your future happiness! That investment can pay off for the rest of your life as long as you take care of your implants. Without the proper treatment your implants could be lost along with the bone that holds them in place. Don’t take a chance with your dental implants!
What Are The Risks?
The biggest risk to your dental implants are a pair of diseases known together as peri-implant disease. These conditions can cause serious damage to your gums, any remaining teeth, bone, and dental implants. Peri-implant disease is essentially the same condition as gum disease but with one big difference: it’s happening around your dental implants!
Peri-implant disease is caused by the bacteria in your oral plaque. That same bacteria that attacks teeth can get below your gumline where it can’t be reached by brushing or flossing! Once there it spreads until it starts to seriously irritate your gums. As it continues it causes more and more problems – that’s why it’s so important to identify and treat it early!
This is the early stage of peri-implant disease. At this point bacteria has made it below your gum line and is starting to have an effect on the health of your gums. You may notice redness, swelling, color change, and bleeding while brushing. You may also notice gum recession as your gums tighten around the implant.
When peri-implant mucositis hits it’s critical that we treat it at our Edgewood dentist office as soon as possible! Luckily this stage is easy to treat with the same solutions we have for gum disease. By seeing us promptly when these symptoms start to show we can eliminate further peri-implant disease and prevent implant loss!
This is the stage when things get a bit more serious. Peri-implantitis is what happens when mucositis isn’t treated. At this stage the bacteria has started to attack the bone supporting your implant. Before long your bone will start to recede, causing more and more of your implant to become visible! This will eventually lead to implant loss – it’s inevitable unless we treat it!
When bone is lost and your implant is in jeopardy there’s only one way to protect it: bone grafting surgery. This procedure will help you regrow lost bone and will also involve restoring the gums as well. The unfortunate part about needing oral surgery to save a dental implant is that it could have been prevented!
Preventing Peri-Implant Disease
While everyone is at risk for this kind of complication there is one big factor that increases your chances of peri-implant disease: tobacco smoking! Smoking actually causes a change in the bacteria balance in your mouth, eliminating a lot of the harmless stuff and letting the harmful bacteria spread like crazy! The more harmful bacteria that’s present the greater your chances of infection! If you are a smoker with dental implants the greatest piece of advice we can give you is to stop smoking now!
First and foremost, preventing peri-implant disease involves thinking of your dental implants as real teeth. While they might be made of near-indestructible titanium and porcelain they rely on your natural bone and gums to support them!
Dental implants need to be cared for just like natural teeth – that means brushing twice a day for at least two minutes and flossing nightly! Most importantly you should make it a point to always see us every six months at Edgewood Dental Care! By seeing you regularly for exams and cleanings we can track your health, identify problems early, and make sure your dental implants last a lifetime!