Congratulations on regaining confidence and quality of life with dental implants. An elegant solution to one or more missing teeth, implants dramatically improve both appearance and function. And they can last a lifetime if properly taken care of. One of the reasons why dental implants can last for decades is their biocompatible titanium posts that fuse with the jaw bone. But the real key to long-term success comes down to great oral hygiene and committing to regular dental check-ups.
As you may know, dental implants are immune to tooth decay. These custom restorations will never discolor or develop cavities, but they can develop problems without regular brushing, flossing and professional dental care. Fortunately, taking care of dental implants is easy. There are specially designed toothbrushes, waterPiks and floss that can help keep your implants healthy and plaque-free.
Inflammation and periodontal infection play a large role in implant failure. Want to extend the life span of your dental implants? Follow these tips!
Home care for dental implants
Dental implants can be cleaned just like your natural teeth with a regular or ultrasonic toothbrush and toothpaste. The spaces where the implant meet the gum line and between the teeth are where bacteria tend to colonize, so it’s important to pay extra attention to these areas.
- Remove biofilm and plaque with an oral irrigator or waterpick
- Use an angled toothbrush with soft bristles
- Brush with a tartar-control toothpaste
- Prevent gum inflammation and plaque build-up by flossing twice daily (or use a small interdental toothbrush)
- Use an unwaxed tape floss
- Rinse with Clorhexidine, or a recommended antimicrobial mouthwash
Daily flossing helps maintain healthy gum tissue at the site of implant placement. If you notice swelling, bleeding or redness around the gums, schedule an appointment with your dental professional as soon as possible. Inflammation of the gum tissue, or implant mucositis, can be a precursor to peri-implantitis, implant loosening and failure.
Professional checkups & cleanings
Continue to visit your dental professional as normal for regular check-ups and cleanings every six months. X-rays and digital images are taken to ensure the bone surrounding the implants is healthy. These images reveal issues that a visual examination cannot – such as bone atrophy, periodontal infection, or retained cement.
In addition, the hygienist will gently probe the gum tissue around the implant restorations. If a significant amount of calculus has built up around the gum line, a deep root cleaning known as scaling may be necessary.
The gingival tissues around the implants should have a normal shape, color and consistency, and there should be no evidence of implant loosening or peri-implantitis.
Free dental implant consultation
With professional check-ups and good oral hygiene, you can enjoy your beautiful replacement teeth for many years to come. These cutting-edge restorations can help you feel confident about your smile, and here at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, our clinic is your one-stop shop for affordable dental implants in Suffolk County.
Request a free dental implant consult with Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick by calling us at (631) 296-0609.
Read More about Caring for Dental Implants:
- RHDMag, Hygiene and the Implant Patient http://www.rdhmag.com/articles/print/volume-29/issue-7/feature/hygiene-and-the-implant-patient-a-preventive-perspective.html
- 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/
- GUM Brand, Implant Care https://www.gumbrand.com/implant-care?id=105