Dental implants, like teeth, require care, regular check-ups and maintenance visits to prolong their function over time and to anticipate any problems that may exist, even without the patient noticing any discomfort.
It is necessary to bear in mind that although the tooth and the implant have many structures in common, others are different in both, which oblige us to pay additional attention and care to the dental implants.
- The tooth is a biological tissue composed of organic and inorganic matter, which has sensors capable of alerting us to situations that are not appropriate, whereas the implant is type IV titanium (metal) and does not have these sensors.
- The connection to the bone of the tooth is through the periodontal ligament, which cushions forces, while the implant only has the flexibility provided by the bone due to its connection to the bone.
- The blood supply to the surrounding structures comes from two channels to the tooth, while the implant receives blood from only one channel, thus influencing the defences and nutrient supply to these structures.
- The soft tissues that surround them at the level of the first layer (epithelium) are similar, but not in the case of the second layer, the connective tissue, where the difference is the organisation of the tissue, since in the implant it is more disorganised and only presents circular collagen fibres parallel to the implant, serving as a brake against the entry of bacterial plaque and other harmful agents such as the chemicals in tobacco.
- As far as bacterial flora is concerned, it is similar in the case of tooth/implant, the latter having a more rapid and aggressive progression.
It is therefore important that, if we want our dental implants to last as long as possible, we are supported and maintained by periodontists and dental hygienists to help us care for them as effectively as possible.