When you have natural teeth replaced by implants, you may feel relieved that you've sorted out your problematic teeth once and for all. The future may seem to be free from worry about keeping your teeth clean and healthy; however, it's important not to take false teeth for granted. Like natural teeth, implant crowns can be at risk of dental problems such as plaque. 

The Cosmetic Effects of Plaque

Over time, your brand new implant teeth may start to look duller and less impressive than when you first had them fitted. Like natural teeth, implants can be at risk of developing problems with plaque bacteria that don't seem to care about the difference between a real tooth and a false one.

If you don't clean implants thoroughly, plaque can build up on them, making them look less white. If you don't clean this plaque off carefully, it may turn into tartar. Tartar is harder to remove than plaque and typically shows itself as unsightly deposits on your teeth.

The Bacterial Effects of Plaque

If you don't keep your implants clean from plaque, you may start to suffer from bacterial gum problems. These problems are similar to the kinds of gum disease you might get with natural teeth. For example, your gums may become swollen and sore if you develop a condition called mucositis where bacteria attack the gum tissue around your implant.

If you get mucositis and don't treat it, it may develop into a deeper gum problem called peri-implantitis. This condition may damage the integrity of your implant as it can degrade the bone that holds you implant post. If you lose enough bone, the implant may become unstable and may need to be removed.

The problem you have here is that your dentist may then be unable to put in another implant because of your bone loss. Even if you can have another implant inserted, you may need to have work done to rebuild the bone first, such as bone grafts.

Keeping Plaque Off Implants

Treating your implant like your natural teeth can go some way to avoiding plaque problems. For example, brushing and flossing twice daily can get rid of the plaque that builds up every day. This will keep your teeth cleaner and reduce the chances that plaque can develop into a bigger problem. Your dentist may also suggest that you see a hygienist more often for regular cleaning treatments to help make sure you are keeping plaque at bay from your implants. It's worth following this schedule to help avoid any possible future problems.