A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. If you compare natural teeth to implant-supported replacement teeth, you’ll see they have the same basic parts. Both have a crown (the visible part used to chew food). Both have a root that holds the tooth securely under the gum and is anchored into the jaw. The difference is that the implant is made of titanium – the same time-tested material used by surgeons for artificial joints. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown.
After tooth extraction, the tooth socket will usually fill naturally with bone in two to three months. However, without bone grafting the height and width of the bony socket will decrease. This loss of bone ridge volume after tooth extraction can be quite dramatic, with up to 50% of the volume lost within six months. Bone graft is most often placed at the time of tooth extraction to help your body fill in the empty socket with bone, in a procedure known as socket preservation. This will maintain the width and volume of bone you will need for implant placement.
While brushing the outside surfaces of your teeth, position the brush at a 45-degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. Gently move the brush in a circular motion several times using small, gentle strokes. Use modest pressure while putting the bristles between the teeth, but not so much pressure that you feel any discomfort, or make the brush bristles bend. When you are done cleaning the outside surfaces of all your teeth, follow the same directions while cleaning the insides of the teeth.