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The Resilience of Dental Implants: Are They Susceptible to Decay

Dental implants have revolutionized the way we approach missing teeth, by offering a durable and aesthetically pleasing solution. Many patients have witnessed firsthand the transformative impact dental implants can have on their oral health and self-esteem.

A common question that patients often have is whether dental implants are susceptible to any kind of decay like natural teeth are. This article aims to address this query by delving into the nature of dental implants and their interaction with the oral environment.

There's a dentist in Brantford that argues implants can last up to 25 years if maintained properly. Let's investigate the matter in more detail below.

The basics of a dental implant

Firstly, it's essential to understand what dental implants are. A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically inserted into the jawbone, where it serves as a strong substitute for a tooth root.

This post is biocompatible, meaning it integrates well with the bone, a process known as osseointegration. Attached to this post is an abutment, which supports a crown, the visible part of the implant that looks and functions like a natural tooth.

Now to the crux of the question: do dental implants decay?

The straightforward answer is no. Dental implants themselves cannot decay because they are made of metal and other materials that are not susceptible to the same bacterial attack that natural teeth are.

Natural teeth are primarily composed of minerals, organic materials, and water, and the outermost layer - the enamel - being highly mineralized and prone to decay when exposed to acids produced by bacteria in the mouth. However, this does not mean dental implants are maintenance-free or without their own set of concerns.

Maintaining good oral hygiene

While the implant itself does not decay, the surrounding tissues, namely the gums and the supporting bone, are vital to its longevity. 

Without maintenance, Peri-implantitis can result which is a condition akin to gum disease, where the gum and bone around the implant become inflamed, often due to bacterial infection.

This can lead to bone loss around the implant and, if left untreated, may result in implant failure.

Good oral hygiene is paramount in preventing peri-implantitis. This includes regular brushing and flossing, using mouthwash, and bi-annually visiting the dentist for check-ups and professional cleanings.

Implants require basic specialized care

Unlike natural teeth, implants require basic specialized care. For example, interdental brushes or water flossers may are recommended to clean effectively around the implant. The bottom line is that although implants are quite resilient, they still need to be tended to in the same manner is natural teeth. 

The crown of the implant

Another aspect to consider is the crown attached to the implant. Though the implant post and abutment are resistant to decay, the crown (usually made from ceramic or porcelain) can still be damaged.

It can crack or chip, just like a natural tooth, especially if exposed to excessive pressure or trauma. Thus, patients with dental implants are advised to avoid habits such as biting on hard objects or using their teeth as tools.

While dental implants do not decay like natural teeth, the success and longevity of an implant heavily depend on the health of the surrounding tissues. They offer a durable and long-term solution for missing teeth, but they require a continued commitment to oral hygiene and regular dental visits.

Implants do last long longer than teeth under certain conditions

Dental implants still stand as a testament to the advancements in dental technology and are not susceptible to decay like natural teeth, but they still do require diligent care which only helps patients maintain their oral health and ensure the longevity of their implants.

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