If you want to keep your teeth healthy and disease-free, semi-annual office cleanings with the Mount Prospect Dentist are critical. However, some people mistakenly believe that if some of their teeth have been replaced with dental implants, they don’t require as much attention from your hygienist.
Actually, the opposite is true. You’ve made an investment in implants, so making sure they’re clean is important. In fact, implants actually require additional attention. The reason for this has to do with the way in which dental implants attach to the jaw how they are made.
The Dental Implant Difference
Your natural teeth are held in place by the periodontal ligaments that attach to the teeth on one side and to the jawbone on the other. On the other hand, dental implants anchor directly into the jawbone. Once the implant is placed by the Mount Prospect Dentist, it integrates with the bone providing its strength and stability.
Dental plaque (the primary cause for tooth decay and gum disease) can stick to the crown of an implant just as easily as on a natural tooth. It’s true that the materials that make up the implant aren’t affected by a plaque-induced infection, the supporting bone and gum tissues can.
Keeping Implants Clean and Free of Disease
Your hygienist understands the importance of removing plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) from around your dental implant. This often calls for different instruments made of plastics or resins that won’t scratch the implant’s highly polished surface. Scratches provide a haven for bacteria to collect and make it more difficult to dislodge them. Likewise, if the hygienist uses ultrasonic equipment that loosens plaque through vibration, the hygienist will often use nylon or plastic tips to minimize damage to the implant.
And don’t forget your own personal hygiene habits – they’re just as important with dental implants as with natural teeth. Keeping plaque under control, both at home and with your dentist is crucial to longevity for your dental implants.