Your teeth are a two-part system. The crown is visible above the gumline while the root is below, anchoring in the bone of your jaws. While dentures are an effective way to replace lost teeth, they reproduce only the crown. There’s no way for a denture system to provide a substitute for tooth roots.
Dental implants stand-in for a natural tooth’s root, restoring a crucial part of your oral health system. The core of the implant is a titanium post that sets into the bone of your jaw and, over time, integrates with the bone. This post serves as a base for the replacement crowns, bridges, or dentures that show above the gum line.
Because it’s a multi-part system, the components of an implant may have varying life spans. Much depends on your oral health and tooth loss. Book a consultation with Le Dentistry and Associates for a personalized assessment of what you can expect from implants.
The parts of an implant system
The base of a dental implant system is the small screw-like post that acts as a root. In many cases, it’s something you’ll never really see, and it’s the one part of an implant that can last indefinitely.
The abutment attaches to the post to connect with the visible part of the system. The abutment, like the post, is very durable, and it too may last a lifetime with good care at home and regularly scheduled dental checkups.
Just like your natural teeth, it’s the visible portion that is most vulnerable. Implant systems are versatile, so one post can support one or more crowns, a dental bridge, or denture plates that can be either fixed or removable.
Dental crowns can accumulate wear and tear over time or fall prey to the effects of a sudden injury — from a blow to your mouth to biting down on nuts or hard candy. In general, crowns have a life expectancy of up to 20 years. Because your implant is a three-part system, damage to the crown is easily repaired or replaced. Chances are that the post and the abutment are still good.
Protecting your dental implants
Your regular good oral hygiene skills are still valid and still critical. Keeping your teeth clean and gums healthy helps your implant last longer. There’s no dramatic difference between caring for natural teeth and implants.
Maintain these healthy habits:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss once a day, including under the edges of each implant
- Attend regular dental cleanings and checkups
- Schedule an office visit when you notice any signs of crown damage
Gentle flossing at the edges of your implant, between the crown and your gums, is important for keeping food particles from gathering and fueling plaque buildup, which can lead to infections and tissue damage in the area. Curve the floss along the side of a crown and move gently down the side of an implant, then slightly under it, on both sides.
With home and office care, your dental implants have good potential for a long life of 20 years or more. Learn more by contacting Le Dentistry and Associates at 678-252-9881. Successful implants start with a customized treatment plan. Book your first consultation today.