Dentist in Carlsbad, CA offers hygiene tips for patients with zirconia dental implants
By Al A. Fallah, DDS, MICCMO, AIAOMT Home of Exceptional Dentistry
Have you recently had a tooth replaced with a dental implant? Are you happy with the natural look and feel of your new tooth? Do you want to do everything in your power to be sure it lasts a lifetime? Dr. Al A. Fallah, a holistic dentist serving health-conscious patients throughout the Carlsbad, CA area, offers this helpful information about zirconia dental implants.
What makes zirconia implants unique?
Since their introduction into modern dentistry in the early 1980s, most dental implants have been made of titanium. This hard, silver-gray metal is strong, lightweight, and resists corrosion. The alloy used for implants contains palladium, ruthenium, nickel, and other metals.
An increasing number of patients now seek metal-free dental restorations. For these individuals, zirconia dental implants can be an ideal alternative to titanium. Zirconium silicate is a mineral found in the earth’s crust. A zirconia Oxide ceramic compound is obtained through a high temperature process that results in a white, crystalline material. It has strength and weight similar to titanium, without other properties of metals.
Big benefits of zirconia dental implants in Carlsbad, CA
Zirconia Dental implants, in general, have significant advantages over other tooth replacement methods. The Zirconia implant becomes part of the body, solidly integrates with bone – rather than sitting on top of gum tissue like a dental bridge or denture. This core difference gives an implant restoration remarkable stability, as well as natural feel, function, and look. The implant replaces the root of a missing tooth, providing vital stimulation that helps keep jawbone strong and healthy. Thus, Zirconia implants preserve bone, helping to avoid a sunken facial appearance.
Zirconia implants have some unique benefits, as well. The implant and abutment are white, and can be one-piece design or two pieces. There is no dark core at the center of the restoration, and no metal peeking through thin gum tissue or at the margin, if gums recede over time. A zirconia implant is the most natural-looking tooth replacement technique available.
While titanium is considered biocompatible, with insignificant risk of reaction or rejection, about five percent of the population has a genuine allergy to this metal. Less than one in a thousand people have a reaction to zirconia. The one-piece design reduces risk of bacterial buildup at the gum line and at the junction of the abutment and implant, further contributing to an exceptionally high success rate.
Caring for your restored smile
If you have a zirconia implant or are considering one, you have made an excellent choice. Here are some ways to keep the restoration looking great and maintain a healthy mouth indefinitely:
A zirconia implant blends seamlessly into your smile, so you may forget which tooth has been treated. Make note of it, though, to monitor the surrounding area. Gum tissue around the implant should be pink, firm, and follow the natural gum line. If it looks red or whitish, has receded from the implant restoration, or shows any sign of infection, please see Dr. Fallah right away. Superficial bacterial infection must be treated before it can invade deeper, which could result in peri-implantitis or implant disease.
Brush teeth at least in the morning and before going to bed – immediately after eating is even better. Use a manual or electric toothbrush with soft bristles, and a light motion. Choose a mild, nonabrasive dentifrice – paste, gel, or powder. Avoid fluoridated formulations, baking soda, or toothpastes made for smokers or stain removal. Using micro-movements, vibrate the brush along the gum line, inside and out, to disrupt oral pathogens. Then brush tooth surfaces, and rinse with plain, tepid water.
Floss teeth at bedtime, or anytime you eat fibrous foods. The crown restoration is firmly cemented onto the implant abutment, but apply a bit of caution. Slide the floss gently toward the gum and move it up and down in a V-shape. Instead of pulling it past contacts, hold one end and glide it out at the gum line.
Bruxing can damage crowns, nerves, and bone, leading to implant complications. If you clench and grind, Dr. Fallah recommends a night guard – a comfortable, custom-fitted appliance that cushions impact on the mouth and jaw.
If you smoke or use smokeless tobacco, please talk with Dr. Fallah or your physician about a cessation plan. Tobacco is a predominant risk factor in gum disease and oral cancers, either of which can lead to implant problems.
Would you like to learn more about keeping your zirconia dental implants and your entire smile healthy? Call (760) 576-2779 to schedule a visit at Al A. Fallah, DDS, MICCMO, AIAOMT in Carlsbad, CA.
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