Tooth loss often occurs as a result of tooth decay or gum disease, so patients may have some concerns that those same conditions may weaken the replacement tooth. Indeed, it’s important to maintain a healthy smile following tooth loss in order to reduce the risk that a dental implant will be compromised.
Dental implants are made of titanium, so the bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities cannot infiltrate them directly, per se. Nonetheless, these conditions still may limit the long-term stability of the dental implant and can be cause for concern.
Patients should be free of decay and gum disease at the time of dental implant placement. If any active gum disease is present, your oral surgeon will refer you to a specialist who can treat that condition, and when it is under control, the patient can then proceed with implant placement. Active gum disease could interfere with the patient’s ability to heal after the surgery.
It’s equally important to do everything that you can to prevent further decay or gum disease after you get your dental implants.
It’s equally important to do everything that you can to prevent further decay or gum disease after you get your dental implants. The bond that forms between the bone and the implant is the central component of the device’s durability. If gum disease attacks that bone and weakens it, the implant could ultimately fail.
As part of your treatment planning, you should also ask your oral surgeon what you should do to care for the dental implants after they are in place. Basic oral hygiene habits, like twice-daily brushing and daily flossing, are a good start, and your surgeon may give you some other suggestions of additions to your oral care routine based on your specific needs.
While the dental implant itself is not susceptible to gum disease or tooth decay, those conditions can affect the surrounding bone that supports the implant, so it’s important to take steps to reduce your chances of developing these issues.
Feel free to ask a member of our team about this aspect of dental implants, or any other questions you may have about this treatment. For more information, contact Austin Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.