The inconveniences of not having a full set of teeth have become a bit overwhelming. In addition, you don’t feel as confident as you used to. But you’ve learned of a great way to restore your smile and full function – dental implants. Your dentist encourages you to look farther down the road, though, by learning 5 ways to care for your new implants, so they’ll last as long as possible.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a surgically inserted titanium post that is affixed to your jawbone and replaces the roots of a missing tooth. The security provided by the placement of the post in your jawbone, and the strength and biocompatibility of titanium make the dental implant procedure the gold standard for tooth restoration.
The process for receiving an implant typically takes two visits:
- The First Visit – At the first visit, your dentist will perform the initial surgery to place the implant, abutment (the piece that attaches the implant to the crown) and a temporary crown (the visible portion of the tooth). You will spend the next few months allowing your face and gums to heal, during which time your custom-crafted permanent crown will be fabricated.
- The Final Visit – After you’ve healed sufficiently, you’ll return to your dentist for the placement of the permanent crown. You’ll leave the office with fully functional and aesthetically pleasing teeth.
5 Tips for Caring for Your Dental Implants
After you’re able to enjoy the fruits of a full restoration, you want to ensure the longevity of your dental implants in Collierville.
These tips will help in your quest:
- Perform Excellent Oral Hygiene – For most people, their tooth loss began with poor oral hygiene and the growth of bacteria. So to prevent tooth decay and gum disease in the future, be sure to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day.
- Visit Your Dentist – Maintaining regular visits to your dentist is vital to your oral health and to the longevity of your dental implant. These appointments will provide you with thorough cleanings to protect your natural teeth and gums from gum disease and tedious checkups, during which time your dentist will also be taking note of the condition of your dental implant.
- Avoid Teeth Grinding – If you grind your teeth (bruxism), you run the risk of unseating your implant. This problem varies, as it may affect you when you sleep or in an awakened state when you’re stressed. If you suffer from this condition, you speak with your dentist about the possibility of wearing a mouthguard at night. In addition, you may consider embarking on a new fitness or meditation journey to accommodate any stressors you may have.
- Avoid Extreme Temperature Changes – It’s common after eating a savory meal to crave a sweet dessert like ice cream, but you should be careful not to introduce extreme temperature changes to your crown restoration. Since it is made of porcelain, the changes will cause the material to expand and contract. The solution is to wait a while before introducing an extreme difference in food or beverage temperatures to your mouth.
- Eat Healthier – Tooth decay and gum disease are derivatives of bacteria, and one of the primary sources of sustenance for these attackers is sugar. Thus, the more snack foods you eat, the greater the presence of bacteria and acids. These acids contribute to tooth decay, gum disease and a host of other oral maladies, but you can combat them by eating healthier. Choosing fruits over candy is great way to satisfy a sweet craving and also helps to create an environment in your mouth that bacteria don’t like.
It’s Time for a Change
Now that you’re well versed in how to care your dental implants, you can confidently prepare for this highly successful procedure to restore your smile. Reach out to your local dentist today to schedule a consultation and get ready to reclaim your life!
About the Author
Dr. Joshua Holcomb earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the UT Memphis College of Dentistry. He specializes in fixed and removable prosthodontics, oral surgery, implantology, conscious sedation, reconstructions and a host of other modalities. Dr. Holcomb can be reached for more information through his website.