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Keeping up Good Hygiene Still a Necessity with Dental Implants

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Dental implants are widely considered the most durable tooth replacement option, thanks in part to how they attach to the jaw. But durable doesn't mean indestructible — you must take care of them.

Implants have a unique relationship to the jawbone compared to other restorations. We imbed a slender titanium post into the bone as a substitute for a natural tooth root. Because bone has a special affinity with the metal, it grows to and adheres to the implant to create a secure anchor. This unique attachment gives implants quite an advantage over other restorations.

It isn't superior, however, to the natural attachment of real teeth, especially in one respect: it can't match a natural attachment's infection-fighting ability. A connective tissue attachment made up of collagen fibers are attached to the tooth root protecting the underlying bone. An elastic gum tissue called the periodontal ligament lies between the tooth root and the bone and attaches to both with tiny collagen fibers. These attachments create a network of blood vessels that supply nutrients and infection-fighting agents to the bone and surrounding gum tissue.

Implants don't have this connective tissue or ligament attachment or its benefits. Of course, the implants are made of inorganic material that can't be damaged by bacterial infection. However, the gums and bone that surround them are: and because these natural tissues don't have these same biologic barriers to infection and perhaps access to the same degree of antibodies as those around natural teeth, an infection known as peri-implantitis specific to implants can develop and progress.

It's therefore just as important for you to continue brushing and flossing to remove bacterial plaque that causes infection to protect the gums and bone around your implants. You should also keep up regular office cleanings and checkups. In fact, we take special care with implants when cleaning them by using instruments that won't scratch their highly polished surfaces. Such a scratch, even a microscopic one, could attract and harbor bacteria.

There's no doubt dental implants are an excellent long-term solution for restoring your smile and mouth function. You can help extend that longevity by caring for them just as if they're your natural teeth.

If you would like more information on caring for dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implant Maintenance.”

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Patient Reviews

  • "Pleasant and professional.
    Dr Shukla and staff provide excellent dental and dental hygiene services. Have been coming to this office for over 25 years. Recommended to all."
    Keith K.
  • "Excellent dentist.
    I had a great experience at Great Smiles, my tooth was filled with no problems and the staff is wonderful."
    Linda F.
  • "Everyone in Dr. Sukla’s office received me with cheerful and friendly attitude. Though it was my first visit, I felt very much at home with her great staff. Dr. Sukla had also talked to me with politeness and did a very good job in attending to my dental requirements."
    S K.
  • "Gentle lady! Friendly and knowlegeable! A fun visit -- you can believe me."
    Florence D.
  • "Dr Shukla, Donna, Diane, Joy and Priscilla are terrific. Professional, knowledgeable, thorough, clean, on time, and very friendly. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m actually at the dentist. There can’t be a better dental office anywhere."
    Jim F.
  • "Super friendly staff & very professional.
    Everyone in the office is so nice and friendly and accommodating...Dr is soooo sweet and very professional...highly recommend this place to anyone looking for a great dentist!!! And great customer service and professionalism!!"
    Marcie M.
  • "Always good.
    Dr. Shukla’s staff always provide warm, caring & professional service!"
    Keith P.
  • "Great experience.
    Very grateful a appointment was arranged immediately as I was in pain, even though I was a new patient. The office and appointment rooms clean and comfortable. I was very impressed with the kind professional attention given and how Quickly my problem was addressed. Great experience! I have been searching for a good dentist in the area and am happy to have found one."
    Shirley W.
  • "High quality, professional dental care.
    Doctor Shukla is a great, highly skilled and very thorough dentist. A few months ago Dr Shukla placed a new crown on a tooth (recommended by Dr Swingle) , which went extremely well. Also it is always a pleasure to have the teeth cleaned by Donna, a very professional and friendly dental hygienist."
    Elizabeth S.
  • "High quality of service, professional.
    Dr Shukla provided excellent service and comfort during the procedure."
    Gary F.
  • "High quality service.
    Dr Shukla and staff are very friendly and personable. I’ve had several tooth emergencies and Dr Shukla and staff have helped me out even on their off days. Dr Shukla is very focused on patient satisfaction. I would definitely recommend Great Smiles to anyone in need of a dentist."
    Aurea M.
  • "Professional and friendly.
    Dr Shukla and her team are very caring and accommodating. I actually look forward to my dental appointments!"
    Peter G.
  • "Dental Work.
    Doctor is very patient and caring. I would highly recommend!"
    Donna W.
  • "Always high quality care.
    I have gone to this practice for years and have come to know the staff well. They are all great! Dr. Shukla provides excellent examinations and kind, careful treatment. Donna is a wonderful hygienist; not only does she do expert teeth cleaning, but she answers all questions thoroughly. She clearly takes pride in her profession and is up to date on current standards of care. I highly recommend 'Great Smiles.'"
    Julie D.
  • "Great service by wonderful people.
    The entire staff are welcoming and thoughtful. Dr Shutla is a great dentist who I highly recommend."
    Russ G.
  • "Dental work? No big deal.
    Dr. Shukla & her staff are always friendly, helpful, calming & efficient, making dental visits easy & stress-free."
    Pat G.
  • "Very professional. Dr. AND STAFF are excellent."
    Patti S.
  • "Excellent dentist and staff
    Our family has been going to this office for at least 25 years. The staff there are more than wonderful. When Dr. Swingle retired we were hoping the new dentist would be good so we could continue our relationships there. Well, we are delighted with Dr. Shukla’s care! Always thorough, gentle, very competent and just personally lovely. Office immaculately clean too. Some nice added amenities like beverages and TVs which frankly are pleasant but not necessary when the professional services (from cleanings to crowns) are first rate!"
    Liz F.
  • "Great group!
    Very friendly, efficient and professional!"
    Stan K K.
  • "Very professional and friendly.
    Dr. Shukla and her staff provide a very professional and relaxed atmosphere. I find everyone to be extremely accommodating and friendly."
    John B.
  • "Professional and friendly... It's like visiting family!
    Always enjoy seeing the folks at Great Smiles... Always on top of things, efficient and effective!!!"
    Peter G.
  • "High Quality Service.
    Awesome office....Very Professional staff... Dentist and staff intently listens to your concerns... Very happy!!"
    Laura D.
  • "Crown prep.
    Dr . Shukla is an excellent doctor . Very caring and gentle during the procedure for my crown ....dental hygienist Priscilla was very good and easy to work with ."
    Bob F.
  • "I love the warm and caring personality of Dr Shukla. This warmth is carried over to her staff who are both professional and caring."
    Florence D.
  • "I love the warm and caring personality of Dr Shukla. This warmth is carried over to her staff who are both professional and caring."
    Florence D.
  • "Professional and friendly"
    Karen F.
  • "Always a pleasure."
    Teri B.
  • "Always great care, timely, efficient and very kind staff"
    Richard S.
  • "High quality service.
    Wonderful and efficient staff!"
    L P.
  • "I just went for my 6 month cleaning and checkup . It’s always a great experience ( the best you could have at a dentist!!) the whole office staff are so friendly and yet professional. Dr. Shukla is very thorough, gentle , professional and nice !! Couldn’t be better :) I highly recommend them!"
    Joanne C.
  • "Professional & friendly service.
    When you open the door to Great Smiles you are greeted with a smile. The staff does everything to make you feel relaxed and at ease. Very professional on all fronts and answer questions with just the right amount of information. I would definitely recommend Great Smiles."
    Trisha Y.
  • "The best.
    Great attention. Always on time. You will feel so confident!"
    Gloria L.
  • "High quality dentistry.
    Great smiles dental has high quality service with a team that makes you feel at home. They always explain what they are doing or going to do helping to keep you informed about your teeth and mouth."
    Mickey C.
  • "High quality very professional friendly service.
    Dr Shukla is a exceptional dentist and her entire staff and office are all 5 stars ⭐️ I absolutely have and will continue to recommend Dr Shukla."
    Shirley W.
  • "Very friendly and professional staff.
    Been going here for over 20 years.... Always great service and always on schedule with minimal wait times... All staff is super friendly and professional... HIGHLY recommend for anyone looking for a dentist in the Westfield area!"
    Marcie M.
  • "Because you should want to go to your dentist
    Another good visit to Dr Shukla at Great Smiles. Always a pleasure checking in to the office and the waiting room is now equipped with cold drinks and Nespresso coffee maker, although I actually didn't have to wait. Came in for teeth cleaning with Donna, followed by a dental exam. Dr Shukla is thorough, gentle and caring, clearly taking a long-term view toward maintaining heathy teeth and gums. Many thanks, see you in six months!"
    Malcolm W.
  • "Dr. Shukla is the best!!!
    I have been a patient of Dr. Shukla for several years. I called the office with a dental issue this afternoon and saw her within an hour. Dr. Shukla is empathetic and reassuring, and she always takes the time to answer any questions you may have. I am very happy with this dental practice and highly recommend Dr. Shukla!"
    Jackie B.
  • "Dr. Shukla and all support staff at Great Smiles are highly competent, caring and efficient! My family of 6 has been receiving wonderful dental care from them for years."
    Lucy R.
  • "Careful, thorough, and proficient.
    Dr. Shukla has a calm and pleasant demeanor. She is careful, thorough and proficient in her dental work. All of her staff are experienced, friendly, and very professional."
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  • "Great experience.
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  • "Wonderful dentist and staff !
    Everyone at Great Smiles are professional, friendly and a pleasure to deal with. I actually, kind of, look forward to going. I highly recommend Dr. Shukla and her entire staff."
    Russ G.