One of the most vexing problems in all of restorative dentistry is the failure of those restorations. Whether it’s a crown, a bridge, or a dental implant all of them can go bad, which leads to what we call “do-it-again dentistry.”
A recent 17 year study found out an alarming fact: you can reduce your risk of implant failure by 90 percent if you adopt good oral health habits after they’re placed. What’s alarming isn’t that the reduction is so great – it’s that so many people fail to understand how to care for their dental restorations once they’re placed!
At New Albany Implants we try hard to educate each and every patient on the importance of good oral hygiene maintenance but it doesn’t always work. In many cases restorations are needed due to a lifetime of bad oral hygiene habits and it’s difficult to break them overnight. In some cases that can spell doom for an implant, bridge, or crown.
What Goes Wrong
Just because a tooth isn’t real doesn’t mean it’s not at risk from the same things that harm natural teeth. Oral bacteria is an insidious tooth destroyer, and no matter how well you protect yourself you’re always at risk.
Crowns and bridges are vulnerable to gum disease and even decay that results from bacteria getting underneath them. At the base of every crown and bridge is a natural tooth that’s being protected from the harsh reality of your mouth, and when you don’t take care of the restoration and tooth you can easily end up with it failing later on.
Implants are in the same boat despite not having a natural tooth to anchor to. Oral bacteria can still slip below the gumline, causing a condition we call peri-implant disease. It’s a lot like gum disease, but it moves faster and destroys much more bone in the process. The end result is implant loss and a nearly impossible situation: we can’t replace an implant if the bone is all gone!
How Can You Prevent Do-It-Again Dentistry?
When crowns, bridges, or implants fail you’ll end up right back in the dentist chair again, and there’s bad news: you’ll be stuck paying for another restoration – that can get expensive! It’s important to take care of your restorations right the first time in order to avoid pain, infection, and a loss of padding in your bank account!
If you’re wondering what to do it doesn’t have to be complicated. There are some simple things you can do to keep your teeth and restorations healthy for as long as you have them.
- Make sure you’re brushing twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride too. It’s a big tooth booster that restores lost enamel and prevents decay.
- Floss every night! We can’t stress this enough – flossing is just as essential as brushing your teeth, and if you skip it you may as well consider your mouth to not be clean at all. Oral bacteria slips into the cracks between teeth and does a lot of damage. Those tight spots are some of the most sensitive in your mouth, especially if they’re next to a restoration!
- Make sure you’re scheduling a routine dental appointment every six months. Even if you have a mouth full of implants and not a single natural tooth remaining it’s still important to have them checked out. Implants aren’t invincible, so be sure to give them the care they need to survive.
- Cut out all tobacco use, both smoking and smokeless. Tobacco changes the balance of bacteria in your mouth, tipping it heavily in favor of the cavity-causing stuff. Tobacco users have much higher rates of tooth loss and gum disease, and even without a single natural tooth they’re still at risk.
- Certain patients will get custom tailored treatment plans, and those plans should be followed strictly. Restorations are far more common in patients who are at risk for further gum disease and tooth decay, which means their care routine will likely include different products and procedures as well.
There’s No Reason To Do-It-Again!
Taking care of dental restorations is no harder than taking care of teeth, but both require dedicated care and precautions to really make a difference. If you’re wondering just what you need to do to keep yours healthy don’t wait another day: call our New Albany office to schedule an appointment.