Dental Implant Maintenance
The daily care of dental implants is very similar to the care of natural teeth. Restored dental implants should be kept clean and plaque free twice a day using a brush and floss. Cleaning is especially important after meals. This is accomplished by gently brushing, giving special attention to all sides of the implant.
Oral hygiene aids may include:
- Small, soft, manual toothbrush or an electric brush
- Low-abrasive, tartar-control toothpaste
- Dental floss for cleaning around the abutments
Other supplies that may be recommended by the doctor can include:
- Antimicrobial mouth rinses
- Inter-dental brushes or other aids for removing plaque between the teeth on either side of the implant(s)
- Disclosing tablets to stain the locations of plaque accumulation
You must be committed not only to the daily performance of dental hygiene at home but to regular visits to your dentist (Sapperton Dental Clinic in New Westminster, BC is currently accepting new patients). It is recommended that you see your dentist every 3-6 months for a professional exam and cleaning. The implant(s) should be examined with an x-ray annually.
What can happen if I don’t take care of my Dental Implants?
Dental Implants can develop problems without consistent daily care. The earliest sign of a problem begins with the observation of bleeding. This is known as mucositis. The current scientific evidence suggests that this may be successfully treated and is reversible if caught early. Unfortunately, if it progresses to bone loss, also known as peri-implantitis, the bone loss is not reversible. If peri-implantitis is not treated it can lead to advanced bone loss and the removal of the implant.
What should my Dentist check for at every cleaning visit?
For an accurate assessment of implant health, dentists and hygienists need to probe and measure the gums around the implant the same was as around teeth, check and compare x-rays annually, look for looseness, check the bite and check all of the components that are attached to the implants to make sure that they are functioning properly.