Dear friends and readers of our blog, we now introduce an issue that has raised several questions and one that is appropriate to address here in writing.

The question addressed by us today should and must clarify the standpoints and the questions of our patients who happened to be more interested and thorough, as well as those who have questions about the length of the treatments during the appointments.

Questions like the following are some that come up in our clinic on a daily basis:

– Will I lose the implants just like I lost my teeth?!

– Will the implants begin to shake like the teeth I used to have?!

– Will the implants suffer decay as well, since I lost several teeth due to tooth decay?

– I’ve always suffered from periodontitis; my gums bled quite a lot and I ended up losing my teeth. Will the same happen with the implants?!

Well, all these questions are logical, relevant and valid, because those who come to see us with the intent to redo their smile using dental implants want to know if you will run the risk of losing, in this case, the implants…

To address these questions, we will start by mentioning the reasons due to which we lose teeth; the main ones, for the issue in discussion, are:

1- Tooth decay

2 – Periodontal disease

3 – Excessive wear

4 – Trauma, falls and accidents.

Let’s start with item 1, Tooth Decay.

Tooth decay is an infection of the tooth, perpetrated by bacteria that will progressively destroy the dental substance, starting with the enamel and dentin and then it proceeds to hit the dental nerve…

By destroying the hard substance of the tooth, this gets naturally weak and will need to be rebuilt… the problem is that all reconstructions have a durability, which depends on the susceptibility of each person to that same tooth decay; i.e., if you are prone to develop tooth decay, this tendency will continue even if you keep treating your teeth.

The normal situation in a scenario like these is that people will keep treating several teeth until they start to lose them…

In this situation it is very important to say that implants do not struggle with tooth decay.

The implants, made of titanium, are not affected by tooth decay. This factor is quite important since it allows people who have lost many teeth due to tooth decay to know they will have a good expectable longevity from their implants!

Item 2 – Periodontal disease or bleeding gums;

If your case has to do with suffering from periodontal disease, currently or in the past, the situation is the following:

Periodontal disease is caused by certain bacteria, which are lodged inside the gums, or between the gum and the tooth, which cause a permanent inflammation of the gums.

This inflammation of the gums causes the bone, which is the foundation of the teeth, to recede (or narrow), which circumvents its ability to properly hold your teeth, allowing them to start shaking and fall as a consequence.

Many people end up toothless due to this issue, and much more have “shaking” teeth.

Will the infection of the gums affect the implants?

The answer is: no.

If you follow our indications and maintenance plans, the implants’ longevity will be similar to healthy teeth.

The important factor that deserves to be mentioned at this stage is the following

– The implants will be placed in an area of your jaw that is not exactly the same that used to hold the teeth you lost. In other words, the infected, or affected, bone by the periodontal disease will be eliminated in your surgery so that we can put all the implants in a healthy and infection-free bone.

One must have to mention as well that this disease has a significant genetic component to regard; i.e., approximately 50% of teeth lost due to periodontal disease is due to a genetic component of the disease and not poor habits of hygiene of patients. Taking this account, one has to imperatively mention that tobacco is a very important factor in maximizing the possibility of teeth and implant loss; i.e., in this case we will be confronted with a peri-implantitis…

If you need a good reason to quit smoking, seize this opportunity to do it when you start your treatment; Everything, absolutely everything works better when patients don’t smoke.

As a curiosity, we can say that there is a significant difference, in terms of tissue tonality, when we are working in a bone-infected area and when we eliminate all the infected area before we fix the implants.

This fact, of fixing the implants in an infection-free area, is one of the factors that ensures a good longevity to your implants and to your new smile!

3 – Excessive wear.

Excessive wear plays a factor in tooth destruction in a patient who has a parafunction (or the habit) to pathologically grind their teeth; in such a way that it completely destroys the teeth, since they end up completely worn out. In this situation, the only alternative, if the wear is already extreme, will be to remove what is left of the teeth and perform a new tooth structure supported by dental implants.

When there is an excessive wear, tooth decay and periodontal disease are seldom seen, and many times we have enough bone to fix the implants, which is something favorable.

Nonetheless, it is quite important to make a correct diagnosis, in order to understand the cause of this excessive wear and proceed with the treatment, always outlining a relaxing/protection guard, hence confining the wear and not letting it reach the implant-based rehabilitation.

What is usually built is a soft material guard, to use while sleeping, to ensure that the wear hits this soft material and not the brand new teeth, if the wear happens to occur. This way we protect the work and the implants and, at the same time, we provide control and eventually a cure for what caused the excessive wear that led to the loss of teeth.

4 – Trauma, falls and accidents.

This an interesting issue, and a lot can be written about it, but, for this discussion, it will be slightly adapted to address what you need to know.

Traumas, falls and accidents do not depend on any of the aforementioned patterns and do not follow a pattern. In other words, there is not a rule to solve the cases that come to us with these as factors for tooth loss.

Often there is no other pathology associated with these cases and, therefore, we only rehabilitate the surrounding area with enough implants to complete the dental arch.

In this case, like the others, since the implants are fixed in infection-free areas, the longevity of the treatment is equal to that of the teeth that we are replacing.

I have my new teeth… A smile just like I wanted… what now?!

Now you have to follow a MAINTENANCE plan, outlined to suit you. You must treat them as if they had been born in your mouth, as if they were naturally yours!

One has always to emphasize that a good dental hygiene at home is of utmost importance, along with the appliances that we provide and following our instructions in order to ensure that the implant area is always free of food debris and plaque, which may cause problems in the future.

Furthermore, a yearly maintenance servicing has to be conducted (or in some cases two times per year) in one of our Centers. In that servicing we will remove your structures and carry out a thorough cleaning of the area around the implants. We will check if all components are properly tightened and also perform a lab polishing on the structures in order to have them “as new”.

In other words, and as a conclusion, the implants are a treatment with good longevity. This longevity depends on two factors: a proper placement and one that is performed on the healthy bone, and, mainly, the daily hygiene of each person in the maintenance of their implants.

We perform your treatment and make an annual servicing to ensure that everything is in place, but this is pointless if you do not do a daily maintenance!

In C.E.R.O., we will teach the whole set of procedures and you will see that having good daily habits that keep your implants for many goods years is not that hard! These daily habits, as well as the scope of servicing and maintenance of your implants, and associated structures, will be the subject of a forthcoming topic in the near future! Moreover, we will also address the issue of the guarantees of our treatments and the implants we fix…

What takes place in an implant maintenance session?

Will the guarantee of my implants and treatment remain valid if I smoke?!

These are two relevant issues, which will certainly give you more information to help you decide to get (and keep!) the smile you want!

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The Oral Rehabilitation and Aesthetic Clinic (CERO) with world-class dental specialists, state-of-the-art technology…