Dental implants take the place of permanent teeth. But how permanent are dental implants themselves and are they susceptible to all the same problems as natural teeth, including cavities? The short answer is “no,” but it’s not a definitive “no.”
The Long Answer
Dental implants are not susceptible to cavities – at all. That’s because the implant crown, the part shaped almost exactly like the tooth it replaces, is made of a blend of synthetic materials that won’t crack under pressure from bacteria infections and calculus buildup on teeth.
There’s a reason so many dentists prefer to replace a badly decaying tooth with a dental implant rather than to try to reverse decay that nearing the point of no return. Having a root canal or an even more involved oral surgery to address badly decaying teeth often isn’t the wakeup call so many people need. And if their habits don’t change after oral surgery, the efforts to try to save badly damaged teeth are all in vain ultimately.
While it’s always preferable to keep natural teeth, dental implants, when properly placed and supported, are invulnerable to cavities. However, they aren’t invincible and you must still practice good dental hygiene to make sure you don’t need to replace the replacement.
Of Cavities and Caveats
Implants are long-lasting and durable. If properly placed and the patient cares for them regularly, implants typically last decades. But while the crown of the implant is invincible to natural cavities, they are just as vulnerable as natural teeth to chips, breaks and being overrun by the bacteria that leads to gum disease – and ultimately tooth loss.
So while natural cavities are not a concern, even an entire mouth full of dental implants doesn’t make brushing and flossing optional maintenance. Poor dental hygiene can trigger a repeat of personal history: poor oral health care leads to diseased gums leads to damaged root structure leads right back to needing an implant to replace the previous one.
Take the Next Steps
There’s still much more to learn about the benefits of dental implants and how they can change your quality of life. Schedule a consultation with an Oxon Hill, MD dentist to get the whole picture and ask all of the questions you want about dental implants.