It’s a valid question! After all, dental implants are the closest things to natural teeth. So are they still prone to cavities? Let’s dive in:
Can fake teeth get cavities?
Fortunately, no, dental implants cannot develop cavities. The dental implant replaces the natural tooth, down to the root. Where you previously had a tooth root, you now have a dental implant screw. A crown is then attached to the screw to replace the visible tooth surface.
Dental implants look identical to natural teeth, with the same shape, color, and size of your natural teeth. Once the implant is in place, it can be difficult to tell which teeth are fake!
That said, an artificial tooth cannot develop cavities, because there’s no natural bone to decay. This doesn’t mean you should neglect your oral hygiene routine, though! Cavities aren’t the only health condition to be concerned about, so maintaining great dental hygiene with dental implants is still imperative.
What is a cavity?
A cavity is a small hole in the tooth that develops when the protective tooth enamel starts to decay. Sugary foods and drinks, along with a lacking dental hygiene routine, are often the reason cavities develop.
As sugars interact with the bacteria already present in our mouths, this produces a strong acid that eats away at the tooth enamel. The enamel is essential for protecting the softer, more vulnerable parts of the teeth from damage.
Over time, as the acids continue to eat away at the enamel, cavities (holes in the teeth) develop. Because dental implants are artificial teeth with no natural bone, there’s nothing for these acids to decay—that’s why dental implants cannot develop cavities.
Can I get gum disease with dental implants?
Although cavities aren’t a risk with dental implants, gum disease (periodontal disease) is still a major risk. Gum disease with dental implants is called ‘peri-implantitis’.
It’s essential that you don’t neglect your daily oral hygiene routine with dental implants! Your implants can still harbor the same bacteria that your natural teeth and gums harbor. The gum tissue surrounding your implants is alive and healthy as well, which means your gums are still susceptible to periodontal disease.
If you begin to notice swelling around your implant, red gums, bleeding, bad smell, or a loose implant, this may indicate peri-implantitis. We advise that you reach out to us immediately if you experience this, so we can help you preserve as much healthy tissue as possible.
Caring for Your Dental Implants
One of the most important facts about dental implants is that you can develop peri-implantitis with them, so your dedication to taking care of them (along with your natural teeth) is critical.
- Clean your teeth twice daily as you normally would without implants.
- Floss your teeth at least once daily with unflavored, traditional wax.
- Consider using a water flosser to loosen and remove debris.
- Use an antimicrobial, non-alcoholic mouthwash at least once daily.
- When you first get your dental implants, you’ll receive deep cleanings regularly. After the first couple of months, you’ll receive regular cleanings with your dentist every 6 months. Don’t skip these!
You can keep your dental implants, natural teeth and gums in their best shape by committing to a strong oral hygiene routine. If you dedicate time to cleaning your smile everyday, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether you can get cavities with implants or whether you have peri-implantitis. The best treatment is prevention!
Our experienced periodontists will guide you through the dental implant process, and explain how to care for your implants in great detail. We’re here to support you and help you experience the best results from any treatment you receive.
Have questions about dental implants and cavities?
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. We love to hear from you. We’re here to support you and your gums!