For a significant number of patients who’ve lost most, or all, of their teeth, dental implants are often the perfect tooth replacement therapy. When cared for properly, your dental implants should provide you with a lifetime of comfortable eating and beautiful smiles. However, just as with your natural teeth, implants will require daily brushing and flossing, along with regular dental checkups, if you hope to avoid losing your teeth again.
It would be a real shame to go through the time and expense of receiving dental implants, only to develop problems due to a lack of proper dental hygiene.
Care and Maintenance of Dental Implants
Care of your dental implants is made up of two key components, home care and dental follow-up:
- Home care of implants – Oral Hygiene for Implants
- Implants don’t get “tooth decay,” but they can still get inflammation around the gum tissue leading to bone loss and possible implant failure.
- Brushing and flossing is required at least once a day, and whenever you feel food around your implants.
- Using a Waterpik can be helpful, if you have a complex dental restoration that is hard to clean around (e.g., a bridge, a hybrid denture, etc.)
- Regular checkups with your dentist for examination and professional dental implant cleaning
- Small problems are much easier and cheaper to fix than big problems. Regular check-ups allow us to treat minor problems before they become major.
Things the dentist evaluates at the checkup: gum health and bone health, implant stability, prosthesis stability (no prosthetic components should ever be loose), the comfort of the patient’s bite, changes in esthetics, or changes in speech.
How Long Your Dental Implants Should Last
An implant that has successfully fused into a patient’s jawbone will likely be there for many, many years – perhaps a lifetime. On the other hand, the artificial teeth that have been mounted to the implants, your crowns, bridges, or dentures, will likely need some degree of maintenance, and eventual replacement. The prosthetic materials used to fabricate your artificial teeth can wear, loosen, discolor, chip, or break if they are in place long enough, even with great hygiene and regular checkups. How you should care for and maintain your new dental implants must be explained and considered before you begin any type of dental implant tooth replacement therapy.
For more information on how to care for dental implants, visit the American Academy of Implant Dentistry website.
The doctors and staff at The Colorado Center for Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry are available to help you determine effective solutions to all of your dental problems. If you would like more information from your Littleton area Prosthodontist, please call to make an appointment today.