If you’re missing one or more teeth, you know just how difficult it can be to complete daily tasks, like eating, speaking clearly, and smiling with confidence. The good news is that dental implants can restore the appearance and function of your smile. While dental implants are stable and feel just like natural teeth, can they develop discoloration over time as well? Continue reading to learn if dental implants can become stained and what you can do about it.
Do Dental Implants Become Discolored?
In most cases, dental implants are made from titanium. This is a biocompatible material, so it is ideal when it comes to the osseointegration process. This is when the implant fuses to the jawbone. The crown (or other restoration) that is placed on the end of the implant(s) is generally made from ceramic porcelain materials that are stain-resistant. This means that your replacement tooth will not easily stain as long as you do a good job caring for it. However, if you try to polish your replacement teeth with abrasive materials, like baking soda or stain-removing agents, the surface can become rough, and your teeth will be more likely to become discolored.
How Can You Prevent Your Dental Implants from Becoming Discolored?
Dental implants need to be cared for in the same way as your natural teeth. To reduce your likelihood of experiencing discoloration, here are some steps you can take:
- Avoid Dark-Colored Foods and Beverages: Some foods and drinks, like coffee, red wine, tea, and berries contain an ingredient called “tannins.” This substance can leave behind dark stains that are very difficult to remove.
- Brush After Meals: When food debris gets left behind in your mouth, bacteria feed on it and release a weak acid as a byproduct. This ultimately can mean tooth decay and staining throughout your smile. When you brush your teeth after meals, you can limit these negative effects.
- Don’t Smoke: Tobacco products contain tar and nicotine – both of which discolor teeth. Additionally, smoking and chewing tobacco increase your risk of dental implant failure. If you’re getting dental implants, this is a great opportunity to work to quit.
- Avoid Whitening Toothpastes: Toothpastes that are used for whitening are often too abrasive for dental implants. These are best to avoid.
Dental implants have all sorts of unique benefits, including being stain-resistant. By taking some precautions, discoloration shouldn’t be an issue!
About the Author
Dr. Peter F. Johnson earned his dental doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and completed an Internship at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital. He later earned a Prosthodontic Certificate from the School of Dentistry at the University of Southern California. During his career in the U.S. Naval Dental Corps, Dr. Johnson attained the rank of Captain. Currently, he is a proud member of a multitude of professional organizations, including the American Dental Association, California Dental Association, San Diego County Dental Society, and the Academy of Osseointegration. For more information about dental implants or to schedule an appointment at his office in La Mesa, visit his website or call (619) 463-3737.