9 Tips dental implant maintenance you should keep a note of. Whether you already have dental implants or you’re considering the procedure, proper dental implant maintenance is the key to continued oral health.
Dental implants are a way for people with one or more missing teeth to enjoy the foods they love and feel better about their appearance.
If you are interested in learning more about how dental implants improve the quality of life for patients who have them, give us a call.
The highly-trained dental professionals at EON Clinics serve patients throughout Chicagoland and southern Wisconsin and northwest Indiana. Schedule a free consultation online today or call us at 800-250-3500.
What Are Dental Implants?
You may have heard about dental implants, but aren’t quite sure what they are. Dental implants are surgically placed metal rods that are fused to the jawbone onto which a dental prosthesis is placed. Dental implants refer to this metal orthodontic anchor. The prosthesis, depending on the need, is either a bridge or crown, made of porcelain, ceramic, or metal. Denture-supported implants are also an option.
The placement of a dental implant, also called an endosseous implant, is performed by a periodontist. This highly-specialized dentist may recommend an implant to replace teeth lost due to gum disease or an accident. The periodontist will examine the gums to make sure they are healthy enough for the procedure. Pain management for this treatment includes general or local anesthesia and sedation. Post-surgery discomfort is treated with over-the-counter pain medication.
A periodontist will recommend a dental implant according to the patient’s needs, but may include:
- Implant-supported dentures
- All-on-4 dental implants
- Implant-supported fixed bridge
- Single-tooth implant
Benefits of Dental Implants
There are many benefits to dental implants and the costs are low when compared to the improvement they make in patients’ lives. They do need proper dental implant maintenance, but this is similar to caring for natural teeth.
Benefits of implants include improvements to:
- Oral health
Proper Dental Implant Maintenance
Just as your natural teeth are prone to decay, plaque, and tartar buildup, implants must also be properly cared for. While success rates are high, there are a few things that contribute to dental implant failure, such as:
- Gum disease
- Jawbone deficiency
- Medications and medical conditions
- Poor dental hygiene
Dental care professionals and patients should be aware of any warning signs of dental implant failure which could include:
- Swelling or recession of the gums
- Difficulty chewing food
- Severe pain or discomfort
- Loosening of the implant
9 Tips for Dental Implant Maintenance
The first 48 hours after surgery requires special care, which the periodontist will discuss with you. After this period, to keep your gums healthy and your dental implants in top working order, follow these tips:
- Regular cleanings — Take care of your implants in the same way that you care for natural teeth with regular cleanings. The dental hygienist may also use the scaling technique during cleaning. This method removes plaque from teeth below the gumline.
- Schedule checkups — Regular checkups are needed to monitor the implants. Implant specialists and hygienists measure gums and compare x-rays to ensure proper functioning. At EON Clinics, we recommend that our dental implant patients come in twice a year for a professional hygiene appointment. At these appointments, we will check and clean your implant abutments, and clean and polish your prosthetic teeth.
- Brush — Brushing is just as important with implants as it is with natural teeth. Brush twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush. A low-abrasive toothpaste with tartar control is also recommended as is an interdental toothbrush which helps remove plaque from between teeth.
- Floss — Floss twice a day making sure to get between teeth and around the abutments. Use an unwaxed tape or floss made for use with dental implants. A water flosser, also called oral irrigator or water jet, is also helpful in removing plaque and small bits of food from between teeth. This is the device we typically recommend to our patients with All-on-4 full jaw dental implants.
- Mouth rinse — Rinse your mouth with an antimicrobial mouth rinse or a rinse recommended by your dentist.
- X-rays — X-rays are a part of any preventive dental care and your doctor will determine whether or not x-rays are needed at your checkup. X-rays can be helpful to ensure that your implants are in place and working properly.
- Observe — You are the first line of defense against dental implant problems. Pay attention to any discomfort of the gum tissue or biting and chewing problems.
- Be careful with certain foods and drinks — One of the great things about dental implants is that they allow you to enjoy your life as you normally would. This includes eating and drinking foods and beverages you love. Take care of them as you would your natural teeth. Here are some things you should be mindful of:
- Hot beverages — Tea, coffee, and hot chocolate. Let it cool before you sip.
- Hard foods — Foods that are hard, crunchy, or have a tendency to get caught between teeth. This includes foods such as popcorn and raw vegetables. Be sure to chew thoroughly and brush and floss regularly.
- Sticky foods — Sticky candies are not great for dental implants and may potentially some cause wear and tear. Cut down on gum, taffy, and gummies, or just be very careful when you do eat them.
- Ice — Many people enjoy chewing ice, but it’s another hard substance that can damage implants.
- Enjoy your dental implants — Proper dental implants maintenance soon becomes routine. While you do need to be aware of problems, it’s important to enjoy the way they make you look and feel Follow our 9 tips for dental implant maintenance and let go of worry!
What Happens If You Don’t Practice Good Dental Implant Maintenance?
Failure to practice good oral hygiene and dental implant care can lead to periodontitis. This type of gum disease damages tooth enamel and bone. It is the reason why many people need dental implants in the first place. It can also lead to dental implant failure.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Swelling and inflammation
- Loose teeth
- Painful gums
- Bleeding during brushing and flossing
- Bad breath
Follow the 9 tips dental implant maintence above and you’ll keep smiling both inside and out. If you don’t have dental implants but think they may be right for you, schedule a free consultation online today or call us at 800-250-3500.