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How to prevent food from sticking around your dental implants

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Dental implants are a boon to many patients. A patient who may be missing a tooth or two, but for the most part has a healthy underlying oral structure is a perfect candidate for dental implant surgery.

Once the new set of implants is in and you have recovered sufficiently, you’ll realize how wonderful it is to enjoy all your old favorite food with your new dental implants.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants mimic your natural teeth. They are placed in your jaw bone like a screw, and bond with the bone. They serve as a foundation for crowns – the tooth-part of an artificial tooth. To put it simply, the crown is the white part of the tooth, and the implant is what keeps it in your mouth.

What they do

Dental implants tear food just like natural teeth, so when you bite into a slice of pizza or sandwich and tear off a piece, your dental implants feel secure.

Our mouths use a complex up-and-down motion as well as a side-to-side motion to masticate food. The side-to-side motions are exceptionally difficult for things like dentures, but for dental implants, they’re a breeze.

Likewise, dental implants can’t get food underneath because they’re part of your jaw. This minimizes infection as well as halitosis. Food getting caught in your dental implants is unsightly and can be harmful. You must take care of your dental implants along similar lines to taking care of your original teeth, by brushing, flossing, and rinsing regularly with an antibacterial mouthwash.

Food also doesn’t stick as easily to dental implants. Your teeth are non-stick; enamel is super-slick and your tongue’s natural ministrations deal with anything that gets caught. Dentures and the like are made partially of plastic, so food adheres to it. Dental implants are made of ceramic, ensuring a non-stick surface.

It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes food will get stuck in your dental implants. If this happens to you, here’s what you can do.

What to do

Use a water pick or an oral irrigator. These tools blast food and other detritus from between your dental implants and the gum line. They are also called water flossers or hydro flossers and cost from 30 to 100 dollars at most drug or grocery stores. They’re basically a reservoir attached to a small hose. You spray it, directing it at different parts of the mouth and teeth.

If you don’t take care of your teeth, they get infected. If you don’t take care of your dental implants, they might also get infected. Your dental implants are just as susceptible to bacterial infections as natural teeth, so treat them with care and have a consistent dental health routine with quality tools.

If your dental implants are at high risk for catching food around them, there may be some reasons why. Here are some reasons why your dental implants may be snagging food.

Size: they may be too small. To fix this or prevent it, your surgical dentist and your restoring dentist need to communicate clearly with one another, and with you. Dental implants need to be exactly measured and tailored to your mouth. This takes precision and professionalism.

Position: the implant may be positioned poorly and tilt or crowd adjacent teeth. An expert dental surgical team is your best bet.

Fit: the way the tooth part sits on the implant may not be exact. It may be oh-so-slightly off. This will cause problems long term. Again, having an excellent dental team will guarantee that the proper fit is made.

Shape: the outside of the implant is improperly contoured, and catches food easily. To solve this issue, your dentist must provide detailed instructions to the laboratory, describing the exact contouring. Of course materials used should be of the highest quality.

Stock abutments: these are the parts that are in-between the crown and the implant. It is important to request customized abutments whenever possible, and not stock abutments – factory pre-fab pieces. Getting customized abutments makes a remarkable difference and, although they cost more, they are worth every cent.

There is a wide range of responses if you feel as if there’s a lot of food sticking in and around your dental implants. If this is the case, consult the expertise of groups like Rancho San Diego Dental.