If you want dental surgery that gives you new teeth in a day, many dental plans will accommodate you, especially since 66% of Americans believe tooth replacement is a medical necessity rather than a cosmetic correction.

Dental implants can last an entire lifetime if you care for them properly. Like real teeth, they don’t wear out or expire and can handle your daily routine. But even though the implant procedure is fast, care is lifelong. Implants should be maintained regularly to get the most out of them, both inside and outside your dental office.

Clean your implants thoroughly every day to keep plaque and other bacteria from infecting the space between the gums or bone and the implant post. The same inflammation and bone loss caused by gum disease can cause the support structure for the post to weaken. Use floss and tiny dental brushes to thoroughly clean the area around the implant as your dental office suggests.

Oral irrigation can also reduce plaque around dental implants and natural teeth, and your dentist may recommend a mouthwash regimen in addition to normal cleaning. However, if your alcohol-based mouthwash is causing dry mouth, opt for an alcohol-free rinse.

Fluoride toothpaste doesn’t damage implants, but toothpastes with abrasive substances like baking soda and stain removers might wear down the glaze on the porcelain implants. Check with your dentist if you’re not sure what toothpaste to use.

Extreme biting, tooth grinding at night or injury can break the bond between your implant and your jawbone. Any of these stressors can cause your replacement tooth to be loosened or knocked out, so it’s important to control such habits or ask for help managing them.

Drug use, smoking, cardiovascular disease and uncontrolled diabetes can all contribute to gum disease and tooth loss, so it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle as well.

Dental implant patients are urged to schedule regular visits to their dental office to check up on their implants.

Peri-implant diseases and other complications are generally preventable with regular care and maintenance. Dental implants are highly successful in the long term, so don’t let your fear of complications prevent you from getting the only treatment that provides the actual look and feel of real teeth.