Taking care of your Dental Implants

Taking care of your dental implants - Corner House Dental

Dental implants are much like natural teeth – they require a high level of oral care to keep them in top condition.Our expert professionals, who have plenty of experience fitting dental implants in Norwich, have produced a guide on everything you need to know about taking care of your implants.

What are dental implants?

Used to replace damaged organic teeth, dental implants are small titanium screws installed into the jawbone to create artificial roots.

When inserted, the titanium root fuses to your bone, creating a firm platform to secure the real-feel artificial teeth.

Due to their fixed nature, dental implants are a popular alternative to non-permanent tooth-replacement methods such as removable dentures.

Many patients select dental implants to restore the appearance of their teeth or fix their ability to bite down and chew, allowing them to eat a full and varied diet once more.

Can you have dental implants with gum disease?

The simple answer is no. Your dental professional will likely refuse to perform a dental implant procedure on patients with gum disease.

Gum disease causes the exposure of the jawbone, the area that would hold your titanium root in place, causing it to erode. As such, an unstable jawbone foundation won’t be able to sustain the dental implant, so the procedure wouldn’t be able to go ahead.

If you have gum disease treatment and your mouth and jaw are able to support dental implants, your dentist may then recommend you for dental implant installation later down the line, so don’t despair.

How long do dental implants last?

If well managed and cared for, titanium dental implants can last between 20-30 years. This is thanks to how incredibly strong and robust titanium metal is. 

However, their lifespan can be drastically reduced if you don’t take care of your oral hygiene. Factors such as smoking and not flossing can cause a build-up of plaque bacteria, making you susceptible to gum disease.

As mentioned, gum disease weakens your root foundations, meaning your implants may eventually fall out and need to be replaced.

Effective ways to protect your dental implants

There are several ways you can help to keep your dental implant in excellent condition including:

  1. Flossing daily

To prevent and eliminate the harmful plaque bacteria that cause decay from gathering between your teeth and under the gumline, we strongly advise flossing daily.

Flossing reaches where your toothbrush can’t, clearing bacteria from your teeth. Water flossers and interdental brushes are just as effective if you’d prefer not to use dental floss.

  1. Go for regular dental check-ups

Visiting the dentist every six months for check-ups can reduce your chances of developing gum disease.

Your dentist will examine your teeth, check for symptoms, and offer preventative treatments, such as, professional teeth cleaning by a hygienist.

  1. Avoid eating hard or chewy foods 

Even though dental implants are incredibly durable, they’re still not quite as robust as natural teeth until they are fully healed.

Chewy or hard foods such as sweets can dislodge or break dental implants due to the impact on your crown.

So, you could limit the volume of hard foods you eat or avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where your implant is located, if possible, for around the first 3-6 months.

  1. Stop smoking

Smoking isn’t just bad for your lungs – it’s harmful to your dental implants and gums too.

Smoking damages your immune system, which makes your gums more susceptible to gum disease and infection.

So, if you’re a smoker looking for dental implants in Norwich, we highly recommend kicking the habit first.

  1. Boost your immune system

As mentioned, your immune system fights infections in your gums, preventing replacement tooth loss and failure.

To keep your immune system in tip-top condition, eat healthily to increase your vitamin intake, don’t drink alcohol or do it in moderation, get plenty of sleep, and keep active.

What to do if your dental implant is loose?

If your dental implant starts to become loose and unstable, get in touch with the surgery that fitted your dental implants in Norwich. 

A qualified dental professional will examine your implant and either replace or tighten the titanium screw that joins the crown to the implant.

Or, if the crown is the part that’s loose, it will easily be cemented back into place above the screw.

In some extreme cases, it may be the implant itself that is loose, which requires complete removal and a reattempt of implantation.

Can dental implants be removed?

Even though dental implants last for an exceedingly long time and are viewed as a permanent solution, they aren’t forever and can be removed by a dental professional. 

An implant may need to be removed due to infections such as peri-implantitis, which causes the tissues around your implant to become inflamed and weak.

Can dental implants be removed and replaced with dentures?

Dentures are a less expensive solution to missing teeth and can easily replace dental implants. However, they’re not permanent and require a lot of maintenance. 

Dentures must be secured using adhesive and may move whilst eating, which can be uncomfortable and frustrating. Incorrect insertion can also cause tooth decay or even infection.

However, they’re ideal for those with weak jaws, unlike dental implants.

Looking for dental implants in Norwich?

If you’re interested in having dental implants fitted or require a dental examination to check on your existing implants, please don’t hesitate to contact our experts at Corner House Dental.

They’ll provide support throughout the entire process, from your initial consultation to your recovery period after the procedure.Call us on 01603 621 613 for a quote or to book an appointment.