Care Tips to Make Your Dental Implants Last
You’ve invested both time and money restoring a winning smile with dental implants, and now it’s up to you to ensure they last for years to come. Here at Innovative Oral Surgery & Dental Implants, we want our patients to realize the lifelong benefits of dental implants and provide customized instructions on proper home maintenance. With good hygiene practices, you’ll be flashing those pearly whites well into your golden years!
Implants are at higher risk of failure without consistent daily maintenance. Fortunately, cleaning your implants is not difficult, and there are a number of dental hygiene products that can make the whole process much easier. While implant restorations will never develop cavities or decay, the surrounding tissue and teeth must be carefully maintained to prevent inflammation and disease.
Dental hygiene for implants isn’t especially complicated. You want to brush and floss at least twice daily and always after meals, with a view toward keeping the restoration plaque free.
Oral Hygiene Tips for Dental Implants
The simplest way to avoid inflammation, infection, or peri-implantitis, is by following these guidelines:
- Use a soft, angled toothbrush (either ultrasonic or standard) that makes for easier cleaning of implant abutments
- Use a soft-tipped inter-dental toothbrush or special floss for between-teeth cleaning
- Pay special attention to gently brushing and flossing where the implant meets the gum line
- Use a low-abrasive toothpaste made for tartar control
- Rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash (such as Chlorhexidine) that reduces oral plaque
- Reduce biofilm by using a Waterpik® or oral irrigator as recommended
Inadequate cleaning and poor hygiene allow the build-up of plaque, which can seriously compromise the lifespan of dental implants. Redness, swelling, and bleeding around the gums are among the first signs of problems. If you are committed to regular home maintenance and notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to schedule a dental visit as soon as possible. Localized inflammation of the soft tissue, known as implant mucositis, is reversible with prompt attention.
Professional Exams & Cleaning for Implants
It is highly recommended that you see your dental professional every 6 months for a check-up and cleaning. During these visits, they will evaluate for plaque, inflammation, as well as the stability of the implant’s abutment. These visits help ensure that your implants, natural teeth, gum, and bones are healthy, with no signs of bleeding, looseness, or inflammation. In most cases, X-rays are taken every 12 months to be used as benchmarks for future comparisons. This provides clear evidence of infection, retained cement, or other problems that could interfere with implant longevity.
To more accurately evaluate overall implant health, the gingival tissue around the prosthetic components are gently probed and measured. If calculus has formed around the implant, scaling—a type of deep cleaning using a Teflon or plastic instrument—is usually necessary.
Great care is taken to look for notable changes in the color, consistency and shape of the soft tissues around the implants. There should be no sign of implant mobility, presence of bacterial infection, or bone atrophy.
In sum, diligent home care, along with regular monitoring and cleanings by your dental professional, are vital to the longevity and success of your implants.
Dental Implant Consultation in Bucks County
Here at Innovative Oral Surgery & Dental Implants, we always tell our patients that good hygiene and proper maintenance are the keys of long-term implant success. Those who properly care for their implants at home and commit to regular dental check-ups will be able to enjoy their beautiful replacement teeth throughout life.
If you’re thinking about a smile makeover and have heard about the benefits of dental implants, now is the time to reclaim your confidence and flash a winning smile. Request a dental implant consultation in our Feasterville, Newtown, or Abington, PA, office by calling or book your appointment online!
Additional Resources on Dental Implant Care:
- GUM Brand, Implant Care https://www.gumbrand.com/implant-care?id=105
- American Academy of Implant Dentistry, How do I care for my dental implants? https://www.aaid-implant.org/about-dental-implants/how-do-i-care-for-my-dental-implants/
- RHDMag, Hygiene and the Implant Patient https://www.rdhmag.com/articles/print/volume-29/issue-7/feature/hygiene-and-the-implant-patient-a-preventive-perspective.html