What You Need To Know About Dental Implant Maintenance

When you have a dental implant installed, you may think that it is going to last forever and will not require much care at all. Unfortunately, dental implants require just as much care as your remaining natural teeth. While dental implants will not decay, failure is a possibility if the gums become infected, inflamed, or if you have facial trauma. Here are the basics about what you need to know when it comes to maintaining your dental implant.

What Is Osseointegration?

Many people think that dental implants attach to your existing jawbone, but they actually fuse together with it. The process is called osseointegration, and knowing what it is can be crucial to understanding what causes dental implant failure. While natural teeth are secured to your jawbone trough periodontal ligaments, implants are quite different, and it is what makes them susceptible to failure due to various problems.

Teeth Grinding

If you have a habit of grinding your teeth at night, it could be contributing to a dental implant failing down the road. This is because the pressure from grinding, or even teeth clenching, can weaken the fusion that occurred between your jawbone and the implant. You may need to take preventative measures by wearing a mouth guard at night to prevent grinding.

Infection and Inflammation

Serious tooth infections and inflammation can harm not only your natural teeth, but your implant as well. The gums surrounding the implant can become infected due to a build up of plaque and bacteria.

General Health Problems

Other health issues, like diabetes and heart disease, can affect your mouth as well as your body. These diseases make it difficult for your body to heal, and increase the risk of gum disease. Even if the implant has fully integrated with the surrounding bone in your jaw, general health problems can make it difficult to fight off infections in your gums.

Practice Great Oral Hygiene

Even though an implant cannot decay, you still need to brush and floss your teeth daily to fight bacteria in your mouth. Strict dental hygiene will help fight against any infections or diseases that may add to the already painful realities of dental implants. 

While dental implants can provide you with a great way to replace a missing tooth, you cannot ignore them and assume that they will stay in great condition. By being aware of the reasons why implants fail, you can do everything it takes to prevent it from happening.