Implant maintenance is very similar to normal oral care. After all, dental implants somehow resemble natural teeth. They also need regular protection and cleaning so plaque and bacteria won’t damage the implants.
What happens when implants are not cared for?
Bleeding and irreversible bone loss might result if you don’t care for your implants. The resulting bone loss might lead to the removal of your dental implants (and costly replacement). Eventually this would cause huge expenses and inconveniences in the near future.
That’s why many people even pay more attention to their implants than with their natural teeth back then. They’ve now become aware of the effects of insufficient dental care.
How to care for your implants
The dentist may recommend the following:
- Use a soft toothbrush (manual or electric)
- Use of low-abrasive toothpaste (with tartar control)
- Flossing to clean the areas around abutments
- Antimicrobial mouth rinse (for bacterial control and prevent further formation of bacterial films)
Although implants are made from strong titanium alloy, they still require gentle care (soft toothbrush and low-abrasive toothpaste). This is to prevent exposure of underlying areas of the implant (which may accelerate degradation).
In addition, flossing to clean areas around abutments can keep the gum tissue pink, firm and healthy. Bacterial accumulation on those areas may lead to gum disease or even compromise the attachment of the implant. This could also infect the gum tissue and lead to other oral problems.
An antimicrobial mouth rinse will also give you additional protection against bacteria and acids. It can kill most bacteria and slow down their proliferation. This will give you enough time before your next dental visit (wherein the dentist performs advanced professional cleaning of your teeth and gums).
The dentist may also provide you with a comprehensive program to care for your implants (short- and long-term). This way you can maintain the integrity of your dental implants while achieving excellent oral health at the same time.
The success of any dental procedure or any oral care program depends both on the dentist and your cooperation. After all, our daily habits ultimately determine our health (including our oral health). With daily application of good oral care practices and regular dental visits, you’re sure to care for your implants, gums and remaining health teeth.
When and how frequent should you visit your dentist?
A dental visit every 6 months will be enough to diagnose, prevent and halt most dental issues. The dentists may assess the condition of the implants (e.g. see if there’s structural compromise or mild bone loss in the jaw). They can then perform cleaning or other procedures to maintain your oral health.
If you worry too much about your implants, you can schedule an appointment right away. If you’re new to Bankstown, Rickard Dental Centre can continue your implant maintenance and advise you of the best oral hygiene procedures you can apply daily.