Are Dental Implants Immune to Cavities?

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Dental implants are regarded as the best way to replace missing teeth because they look and function just like the real thing. A patient can smile at everyone they pass by without anyone realizing that they have dental implants. This might lead some people to ask, since dental implants are so much like real teeth, are they susceptible to cavities? Read on to find out the answer.

Can Dental Implants Decay Like Real Teeth?

Though dental implants mimic the color, luster, and shape of real teeth while functioning in exactly the same way, they are not vulnerable to cavities. A dental implant consists of a titanium post placed into the jawbone and an artificial tooth made of porcelain attached to it above the gumline. The result is a restoration and works just like a real tooth. Since neither titanium nor porcelain are digestible by bacteria, they do not get cavities. However, this does not mean that implant patients are immune to the consequences of failing to practice good oral hygiene.

How Can Bacteria Hurt Dental Implants?

The bacteria that live in your mouth love sugar and with an abundance of it to feed upon, they will multiply rapidly and produce acid as a metabolic byproduct. Acid is just about the worst thing for your teeth. Unfortunately, many common items in American diets like soda, candy, and potato chips are heavy with sugar, so without daily dental hygiene, these bacteria will grow out of control.

While these bacteria cannot hurt the dental implant itself, they have plenty of other targets in the mouth. Bacteria living on a dental implant can infect neighboring teeth, resulting in cavities and tooth decay. They can also attack the gums, leading to gingivitis and periodontal disease. Gum diseases like these, if left untreated, can destroy gum tissue and the jawbone, resulting in tooth loss and implant failure. Tooth decay and gum disease can also lead to even more serious complications including sepsis, secondary infections, diabetes, and heart disease.

How Can I Protect My Dental Implants?

The good news is that dental implants can be best protected with a good oral hygiene regimen. This means doing the following every day:

  • Brush twice or between meals with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss once to clean between teeth.
  • Use antibacterial mouthwash to inhibit bacterial growth.
  • Limit intake of starchy snacks and sugary candies and beverages.

Regular dental checkups are also necessary. While twice a year is usually considered sufficient, dental implant patients will likely need more visits to the dentist to monitor their progress, especially during the first few years after treatment.

Don’t let your dental implants’ immunity to cavities go to your head. Keep up with practicing good dental hygiene while limiting your sugar intake. Your implants are a long-term investment, and they need consistent long-term care if they are going to give you a full and beautiful smile for a lifetime.

About the Practice

Pelican Landing Dental serves patients with the best oral care available in Southwest Florida. Led by a team of six dentists, the staff provides high-quality and personalized dental treatments with the latest technology available. Services include preventive, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry in addition to implant treatments. If you are curious about the best way to take care of your dental implants, contact the office online or dial (239) 766-6311.