Dental implants are typically comprised of two major components: the implant, which serves as the root for the missing tooth, and the crown, which provides the appearance of a natural tooth. The tooth implant that serves as the root replacement is often made of titanium or a titanium alloy and coated to encourage osseointegration; the fusing of natural bone with an artificial implant component. The design is rugged for durability, and the history of tooth implant use proves effective biocompatibility.
For the average, healthy patient, all of this means that the dental implant is designed to endure and may actually be stronger than the adjacent natural teeth. Maintaining overall health, attending regular dental checkups, seeing a periodontist if gum tissue needs specialty care, and practicing good nutrition and oral hygiene will work to maintain the tooth implant and keep the mouth in good healthy condition. Patients must keep in mind, however, that anything that can damage a natural tooth can potentially damage a tooth implant as a whole or the prosthetic crown.
Dry mouth conditions, gingivitis or gum disease and inflammation, poor oral hygiene and thus a growth in oral bacteria, smoking or chewing tobacco use, and similar negative conditions or behaviors can cause the gum tissue to recede leaving the tooth implant vulnerable. These conditions can also set the stage for gum disease, inflammation, or infection and abscess, which can all affect the integrity of the implant and its components. Damage to the adjacent teeth, the natural teeth, can create pressure on the implant or leave the implant less stable if not cared for early.
Typical behavioral conditions that can affect the tooth implant include extreme rapid temperature changes, such as those that occur when consuming extremely hot and cold foods or beverages, chewing on excessively hard foodstuff such as ice, hard candy, and certain types of mixed nuts or chips. Periodontal disease, affecting the gum tissue, is often preventable with regular flossing and brushing habits, but if allowed to develop the diseased tissue can have an affect on the implant. The more a patient knows in advance, the easier it is to maintain and care for the implants. Contact our experienced periodontist at 214-443-0876 today to learn more!