Dental implants are commonly used as the replacement of missing teeth. The implants are metal devices that are inserted into the jawbone, taking the place of natural tooth roots. The metal used for the fabrication of the devices is titanium, which is biocompatible. Thus, an implant is not typically rejected by the body. In fact, the placement of a dental implant is almost always successful.
Still, a dental implant and the tissue surrounding it must be properly cared for in order to avoid issues with the device. Here are a few measures that you can take to help ensure that issues do not arise with your implant.
Rinse Your Mouth With an Antibacterial Mouthwash
The gums that surround a dental implant can become inflamed. If they are not kept clean, plaque and oral bacteria can accumulate in the folds of the tissues, preventing the area around the implant from healing properly.
The inflammation can interrupt osseointegration, the connecting or integration of the implant with the jawbone. Still, the gingival inflammation, which is called periimplantitis, can be avoided or reversed with proper care, including the use of an antibacterial mouth rinse.
The rinse can reach the folds and crevices of the soft tissues that a toothbrush may not be able to access. Many antimicrobial oral rinses include antibacterial agents, such as chlorhexidine.
Don't Chew on Hard Objects
Chewing on hard objects, such as fingernails and ice chips, may become habitual, especially during times of stress. The habit may seem harmless, but it can damage natural teeth and dental implants.
The stability of a dental implant is based on the device's connection to the bone. The connection can be broken if too much bite pressure is applied while biting on a hard substance. Once the connection with the bone is lost, the dental implant fails. The connection will not re-establish, so the implant has to be removed and replaced.
Protect Your Implants During Contact Sports
Like natural teeth, your implants should be protected by a mouth guard during contact sports. The guard absorbs the pressure from a blow to the mouth that could shift an implant from its position in the jawbone.
Customized guards that are designed from a mold of your oral cavity can be obtained from your dentist. Thus, your dental implants can remain protected without sacrificing the comfort of your mouth.
For more information about caring for dental implants, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.