It's no secret that dental implants are one of the best options if you need replacement teeth and want the most natural and easiest to maintain option. Implants, unlike natural teeth, aren't as prone to discoloration, although it can happen. Learn more about what can cause implant stains and what you can do about it.
Causes of Staining
Implants have a glazed finish, which serves the dual purpose of giving them a sheen similar to natural teeth and of protecting them from stains. If this glazing becomes compromised, then stains can occur. Abrasives are the main concern. Things like abrasive toothpastes, such as those containing baking soda, can wear down the glazing on the implants.
Gum line stains are another issue. These can occur due to one of two reasons. The first is if the bonding agent, or adhesive, that connects the implant crown to the implant post discolors. The other cause is if discolored tartar or plaque builds up along the base of the implant. Generally, tartar stains are easy to identify because you will see the discoloration on both the implants and on your natural teeth, while bonding agent stains will only appear on implants.
Your dentist may be able to polish and clean any stains that occur because of compromised glazing, and then they may be able to reseal the crown. If you notice stains beginning to occur, stay away from foods that are known to cause staining until you can get in to see your dentist. This includes items like coffee, tea, red wine, and berries. Smoking and chewing tobacco can also result in major stains, so they are best avoided. In severe cases where stains have penetrated the entire crown, the only fix may be removal of the crown and replacement with a new one.
Gum line Remedies
If your stains are due to the bonding agent, your dentist can generally remove them with a combination of a whitening agent and polishing. This may need to be repeated at every visit to keep the discoloration at bay. You can further minimize discoloration of the bonding agents by avoiding foods that are known to cause stains. For discoloration that is a result of tartar build up, regular cleanings are the only remedy. This is actually a good thing, since excess tartar can make you prone to periodontal disease, even if the tartar is building up on an implant tooth. Your dentist will advise you on how often you should schedule cleanings for both appearances and dental health.