Dental implants are permanent titanium fixtures anchored to the jaw bone topped with individual replacement teeth or a bridge is screwed or cemented in place.
Cleaning around implants differs from maintenance of natural teeth for two reasons:
1. Mode of attachment is different in tooth and implant.
2. The materials from which implants are made are very different from natural teeth.
Dental implants replace the root parts of the teeth. Artificial crowns, bridgework or removable dentures- replace the visible (crown) part/s of the teeth and are attached to the implants. In between the implant and the crown of a tooth, there is often a connector known as Abutment.
The success of implant therapy is based on the implant’s attachment to bone. Titanium, the metal implants are made of, is uniquely osteophilic – literally “bone-loving.” It fuses to bone in a process called as Osseointegration (“Osseo”-bone; “integration” – fusion or joining).
Above the bone where Osseointegration ends, the abutment comes in contact with the gum tissue where it is supported by a connective (i.e.” connecting”) tissue. The fibres run beneath the surface parallel to the implant ending at the top of the bone. They hold the gum tissues against the implant surface.
Maintenance of Dental Implants by practicing meticulous oral hygiene practices by the patient is of utmost importance in ensuring their long term success. Dentists too must adequately educate their patients on these measures for a fruitful outcome.
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