While there is no doubt that dental implants look, feel and function like real teeth, many patients have questions about whether or not their implants are prone to the same dental issues as natural teeth. Tooth staining is a top curiosity.
Dental implants involve a titanium post under your gum line (your artificial tooth root) as well as a crown or bridge above your gum line (your prosthetic tooth). It is true that the dental implant itself is not vulnerable to decay or disease. However, please remember that the surrounding tissues and bone certainly are. When it comes to staining or other forms of discoloration on your dental implants, the answer is more ambiguous.
Dental implants typically involve a crown made of ceramic or porcelain. These durable materials are considered stain-resistant. However, this doesn’t mean they are stain proof. You’ll still need to watch your intake of staining foods and drinks as well as kick your smoking habit if you want to retain white replacement teeth. In addition, it is possible to encounter staining along the gumline of your dental implant. The bonding material used to fix the implant restoration to the titanium root can discolor over time.
You should care for your dental implants just like your natural teeth, which means being aware of the habits that may discolor them. Try to avoid abrasive toothpastes and brushing habits and do not use acidic fluoride rinses, as these will break down the protective layer of your implants. Maintaining routine dental cleanings are critical, as most implant stains can be removed with professional polishing. Dental bonding can also be used to disguise certain types of stains.
You should know that while dental implant crowns cannot be bleached or professionally whitened, your surrounding natural teeth can. Some patients find themselves in the opposite situation, where their natural teeth are yellowing compared to their white dental implant teeth. In such cases, a teeth whitening treatment could prove beneficial.
For more information on dental implants, please contact Dr. Wayne Suway. We want to help you protect your restorative dentistry investment!