Can Dental Implants Get Cavities?

Can Dental Implants Get Cavities?

Jun 01, 2022

Apart from ruining your perfect smile and self-confidence, missing teeth can cause serious oral problems such as jawbone deterioration and misalignment. For these reasons, we recommend that you replace lost teeth as soon as possible. Tooth implants are the most stable, natural-looking, long-lasting restoration treatments worth considering.

What is a Dental Implant?

Dental implant surgery involves placing screw-like titanium posts on the jawbone to replace the lost tooth roots. Once the dentist places the implant, it bonds with the underlying jawbone in osseointegration. It typically takes 3-6 months. Once the implant has healed, the dentist places an abutment tooth. Lastly, the dental crown is cemented over the implant permanently.

The procedure can take 3-6 months to complete. If you need bone grafting, it may take longer. Once the treatment is complete, the implant feels and looks like your natural teeth. People around you can’t see or distinguish it from your natural teeth.

Can Dental Implants Get Cavities?

One of the key questions that most dental implant patients ask is whether their implant can get cavities. The good news is no. While dental implants bond with your jawbone and function like your natural tooth, they are still artificial – they aren’t natural materials.

Usually, your natural teeth are protected by the enamel – the hardest outer part of the tooth produced by the body. Unfortunately, the enamel can get compromised due to bacteria, acidic products, or dental trauma.

When the tooth’s enamel is compromised, bacteria and plaque can penetrate the second layer of the tooth (dentin) even easier. Eventually, the bacteria infect the inner part of the tooth that contains the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels, causing decay.

While tooth implants look natural, synthetic materials don’t have active nerves and blood vessels. Similarly, plaque, bacteria, or tartar, like the natural tooth’s enamel, can’t affect the material.

Why Proper Dental Implant Care is Essential

While your dental implant isn’t susceptible to cavities or decay, proper dental care is still essential. An implant requires a healthy jawbone and gums to function as expected, like your natural teeth. While it won’t develop cavities, improper dental care can affect your implant in other ways.

For instance, the implant’s crown is commonly porcelain and ceramic. While very strong and durable, these materials can crack, chip, or break under extreme forces. It would help if you avoided damaging habits such as biting on hard items such as nails and pens.

Similarly, when you don’t clean your mouth correctly, you can develop peri-implantitis – a form of gum disease-specific to dental implants. Peri-implantitis happens when bacteria buildup and infect the bone and gums around the implant. Common symptoms of this condition include:

  • Swelling, redness, or inflammation around the surrounding gum tissues
  • Bleeding upon being probed
  • Halitosis or bad breath
  • Swollen lymph nodes around the neck
  • Visibility or exposure to the implant threads
  • Loss of supporting bone
  • Loosening implants
  • Pus discharge from the tissues around the implant

Contact your dentist immediately or visit a dental office near you for treatment if you have these signs. If left untreated, peri-implantitis can worsen, leading to implant loss and further damage like gum disease and jawbone damage. People who smoke or have pre-existing conditions like osteoporosis and diabetes are more likely to develop peri-implantitis.

If you have the condition, your dentist will establish a customized treatment option and work with you throughout the illness to restore your health. Common treatments can include tooth replacement, bone grafts, and gum surgery.

Caring for your Dental Implants

To care for your implants and avoid peri-implantitis and other complications, use these tips:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice daily.
  • Floss daily.
  • Visit your dentist at least twice a year for dental checkups and cleanings.
  • Eat healthier and hydrate well.
  • Avoid or limit tobacco products.
  • Avoid damaging habits like chewing nails and pens.
  • Notify your dentist immediately if you experience a problem with your implant.

Schedule an Appointment Today

For more information about dental implants in Beverly, MA, contact Beverly Dental Group.

Out dental office in Beverly, MA also welcomes patients from the below nearby areas:

  • Wenham
  • Danvers
  • Salem
  • Peabody
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