Dental implants are a popular replacement tooth option in the United States, and for good reason. They’re strong, durable, and they look, feel and function just like natural teeth. But they can also be expensive. If you’ve decided to go with dental implants but aren’t sure if they are right for you, here’s what you need to know about them
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are small titanium posts that are surgically placed into your jawbone where your missing tooth used to be. The implant serves as an artificial root for your new tooth, which is attached to it using a crown or other restoration.
The implant crowns, or “tooth” portions, of the dental implant are made of porcelain and are very similar to natural tooth enamel.
Dental implants are popular because they provide long-lasting, permanent solutions to tooth loss. And unlike dentures, they don’t slip around or fall out. Plus, they look, feel and function like real teeth, which can give you the confidence to eat, speak and smile as you normally would.
Look, Feel and Function Just Like Natural Teeth
As we’ve said, implants are very similar to natural teeth. This means you brush and floss them like natural teeth, too. But, do they stain like natural teeth when you eat certain foods or drink certain drinks like wine or coffee?
Yes. Like your natural teeth, dental implants can naturally darken over time from exposure to food, beverages and tobacco products. However, this doesn’t mean you have to live without eating or drinking anything you enjoy. There are ways to keep your dental implants looking their best and a nice, white color.
How Can I Keep My Dental Implants White?
Tooth discoloration happens to everyone. You can whiten your dental implants by following these steps:
Brush Your Dental Implants Daily. Brushing your dental implants daily helps remove stains and gives your implants a whiter, more polished appearance.
Use Whitening Toothpaste. Using whitening toothpaste on your dental implants will help lighten discoloration caused by staining.
Avoid Tobacco Products. Smoking causes stains to build up on your dental implants. So, if you smoke, chew or dip, quit now. If you use vape pens or electronic cigarettes, you’re not exempt from the potential for staining, either.
Go for Regular Professional Cleanings. Keeping your dental implants clean removes any buildup that may cause discoloration. We recommend seeing your dentist at least twice a year for professional cleanings.
Can Dental Implants Be Bleached?
We all want a whiter and brighter smile. However, bleaching your dental implants isn’t recommended. It could damage the surface area of your implant. Also, bleaching won’t make your implant look whiter than it already does. Instead, use our tips above to keep your implants looking bright and beautiful.
That said, it doesn’t mean you’re not a candidate for a bright, white smile. In fact, many patients choose to whiten their entire mouth after getting dental implants.
Are Dental Implants Safe?
In general, yes. While there are some risks associated with dental implants, most people who have them report no problems. The most common side effects include minor bleeding during surgery, swelling, soreness and bruising. These symptoms usually disappear within a few days after the procedure.
How Long Can Dental Implants Last?
It depends on several factors, including how well you take care of your dental implants. As a rule of thumb, though, dental implants should last between 10 and 20 years. If you’re interested in learning more about dental implants, contact us today!
Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Anyone who has lost one or more natural teeth due to decay, gum disease, injury or other reasons can benefit from dental implants. In fact, many patients choose dental implants instead of traditional bridges or partial dentures because they offer better cosmetic results, improved chewing ability and greater comfort.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Dental implants can improve your overall oral health and appearance. Here’s what else they can do for you:
Improve Chewing Ability. Dental implants provide stability and support for artificial teeth. This makes chewing easier and less painful.
Provide Better Cosmetic Results. With dental implants, your smile looks completely natural. Plus, dental implants don’t require special trays or removable appliances.
Reduce Risk of Infection. Because dental implants are placed directly into bone, they reduce the risk of infection compared to other types of restorations.
Help Prevent Further Decay. Dental implants also prevent further decay around the gums, which reduces the likelihood of periodontal (gum) disease.
Do you have questions about dental implants, how long they last or how to care for them? Call us now for more information or to schedule a consultation.