While dental implants can last a lifetime, as with anything else, proper maintenance will make them last longer. Whether you’ve received implants for total tooth replacement or for partial tooth replacement, you should care for them just as if they were your natural teeth if you hope to keep them forever.
Your dentist can help you with this, of course. Since regular dental visits are critical to the ongoing success of your dental implant surgery and placement, your dentist should provide you with a dental visit program and a dental implants maintenance program to ensure the long-term health of your implants and any remaining natural teeth.
Dental implants and disease
Just as with your natural teeth, periodontal disease can lead to the loss of your implants. This is the result of poor dental care, when gums and teeth are not cleaned properly and regularly. When left untreated, gum disease can lead to bone loss, weakening the support that is necessary for healthy teeth – and for your new dental implants.
To avoid problems with your new implants, and keep them in place and healthy for the long term, you should brush and floss every day, exactly as you would do for your natural teeth. Your dentist should design a home care program for you, based on your individual needs, to help maintain healthy implants.
Home care of your dental implants
The Dental Health Blog offers these tips for successful dental implants maintenance:
• Brushing your teeth – should be done daily. Your dentist may suggest using a cordless electric toothbrush for improved brushing but, regardless of the type of toothbrush you choose, your dentist and hygienist should also review your technique with you, to make sure that you’re cleaning your implants and dental prosthetics properly.
• Choosing an Oral Irrigation System – Research and decades of experience as your Littleton area prosthodontist have taught us that oral irrigation is effective in reducing plaque accumulation not only around natural teeth, but around dental implants as well. There are a wide variety of mouth rinses available for this. Check with your dentist if you need advice.
• Continue Flossing – or begin today! Yes, caring for your new implants includes flossing every day. A floss threader will help you to reach around your implants and under bridges to keep these areas clean. Your dentist may recommend a specialized type of floss.
• Try an Interproximal Brush – which are small dental brushes, also known as “Proxy Brushes”, which are specifically designed to clean between natural teeth and dental implants.
• Schedule regular Dental Visits – to check on your implants. Typically, dental professionals will recommend you receive a professional dental cleaning every 3-6 months. However, a good dentist will design a dental visit program tailored to meet your needs as an individual.
• Choosing a Toothpaste – is very important. A toothpaste with fluoride will not harm your implants; however, an abrasive toothpaste designed for “increased whitening” for example, may damage your replacement teeth and should be avoided.
The doctors and staff at the The Colorado Center for Implants and Prosthetic Dentistry, are your full-service Littleton dental implants specialist and experts in all types of tooth replacement therapy. If you would like more information on your family’s dental needs, make an appointment today.