I’m wondering if dental implants can get cavities. I’ve had a lot of work on my teeth over the years including several crowns. I thought those would last forever since they cover the whole tooth but now I’ve found out that a couple of them have cavities and there’s probably no saving the teeth at this point. I’m told implants are the best way to replace them, but they are a bit of an investment. If I go that route, is there a chance they’ll get cavities or similar too?
No, you don’t have to worry about your dental implants getting cavities.
Your natural teeth are made of biological material. That’s what makes them susceptible to decay. When the damage is severe enough to necessitate a crown, the decay is removed and a filling is placed. With significant tooth structure missing, however, the tooth is vulnerable to fracture, so it’s prepared for the crown as well. The crown protects the natural tooth under it. That in mind, it is possible for the remaining tooth to develop decay too.
Unlike crowns, which are designed to protect a tooth, dental implants replace teeth. There’s no biological material left to decay. The bottom portion is usually made of titanium or a titanium alloy, which is common with all sorts of implants and joint replacements throughout the body. Your jaw will naturally grow around it and anchor it in place, so it works just like the root. The uppermost portion is similar, though it has porcelain on it, so it mirrors the look of a natural tooth. However, none of these materials are living, so they’re not susceptible to decay.
You have lots of options when it comes to replacing missing teeth. Dentures and partial dentures, for example, work well and are on the lower end of the cost spectrum. These are typically made of acrylic, are removable, and will last many years. Bridges, which are essentially two crowns with one or more “false teeth” in the middle, may be viable choices too. However, dental implants tend to be the preferred choice because of their unique structure that mimics a natural tooth and ability to integrate with the bone. This makes it them a permanent solution that prevents or slows “facial collapse,” a condition in which the jawbone wears away, causes people to look older than they are, and can make it difficult to wear dentures.
Even though the tooth replacement won’t develop a cavity, you’ll still need to keep doing all the things that would normally keep your teeth and gums healthy. That means brushing and flossing to remove plaque and keep periodontal disease at bay. You’ll also need to continue getting professional cleanings and checkups. That way you can quickly address any issues that might emerge.
This blog is sponsored by Elgin dentist and dental implant provider, Dr. Steve Sirin.