Implant Restorations at John M. Purdy DDS
When Dental Implants Get Damaged
If your implant becomes cracked, chipped, or feels loose, it’s time to come visit Dr. Purdy at either of his El Paso locations for repairs. It doesn’t happen very often, but just like real teeth, dental implants can become damaged even when we’re taking great care of them. It could be the result of the implant not bonding sufficiently to the jaw bone, or the jaw bone itself could be the problem. If you live in El Paso, Texas or the surrounding area, we would like to serve you and welcome you to our family.
How Does Dr. Purdy Repair Implants?
The way Dr. Purdy repairs an implant depends on how it is damaged. If the problem is only with the crown, it can usually be repaired or replaced without having to do anything to the implant itself. When the damage is to the implant or post, however, the repair process becomes more complex. First, the implant will be removed, which may require surgery. After a healing period, if the jaw bone is healthy enough, a new implant can be placed.
Caring for a Dental Implant
To ensure that your implant lasts as long as it should once it’s been repaired by Dr. Purdy, you should keep up with good daily oral hygiene habits. An implant can’t get a cavity like a normal tooth, but because it lacks the periodontal ligament between the gum and implant, the surrounding tissue can be vulnerable to infection. We encourage our dental implant patients to be diligent with brushing and flossing so that they can avoid problems like peri-implantitis.
Implants are artificial teeth that are placed into the jawbone and function the same way as the roots of teeth. Implants greatly reduce the risk of bone loss and they won’t slip and slide while you’re trying to chew your food or have an engaging conversation. Taking care of implants is the same as taking care of natural teeth. Implants can replace individual teeth or they can be used as anchors to support full or partial dentures.
As many as half of all American adults are estimated to have some form of gum disease, and dental implant patients are far from exempt. There’s even a special name for gum disease when it develops around an implant: peri-implant mucositis. The difference between this and regular gum disease is that the inflammation can spread more easily because implants lack the physical barrier against bacteria that natural teeth have.
Peri-implant mucositis can be treated and reversed just like gum disease can, but that becomes much more complicated if it is left to develop into peri-implantitis, which compromises the underlying bone structure and threatens the entire implant. At this point, surgical intervention is usually required. Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for keeping an implant and the surrounding gum and bone in good shape, particularly on an implant that has needed restoration.
What to Do If Your Implant Is Damaged
Do not attempt to self-diagnose a problem with your dental implant or fix it yourself. This is definitely a job for a professional. Attempting to fix it yourself could make things worse, including damaging the underlying jaw bone. If you’ve noticed any problems with your implant, give us a call at (915) 593-1833 or send us a email so that we can schedule a repair appointment. You can learn more about our practice and our prosthodontic services by checking out our business page, and if you haven’t been to see us before, make sure to get directions to either our Mesa or our McRae location.