Improve your overall dental health with these expert tips!
If you’ve just undergone a dental implant (or a couple) it’s important to care for them just as you would any of your other natural teeth. But, aftercare for your dental implant is also important, so we’ll touch on comprehensive oral care for your dental implants in today’s post!
If you’re looking for a permanent solution to teeth that have been extracted or lost, dental implants are a fantastic option. At the Alaska Center For Oral + Facial Surgery, we perform routine dental implants to improve the function and aesthetics of your smile! Learn more about them today!
Caring For Dental Implants
Everyday care for your new dental implant is essentially the same as caring for your natural teeth — restored teeth should be subject to the dental health standard of brushing twice a day and flossing at least once. It’s important, especially after you eat, to tend to your dental implants to help remove food debris by brushing around all sides of the implant and giving your teeth a good floss!
What you’ll need:
- Toothbrush (soft-bristled or electric)
- Quality toothpaste
Additional dental care items that are helpful:
- Mouth rinses
- Water irrigation for teeth
At-home dental care for your dental implants is the foundation, however, it’s extremely important that you see your dentist twice a year for regular cleanings, in addition to having your dental implants examined via x-ray annually.
Why does caring for your dental implants matter?
Similar to your natural teeth, implants can develop problems over time if they’re not cared for properly. One of the first signs that you may be having issues with your dental implants is if they begin to bleed in the affected area, which is known as mucositis and a progressive form called peri-implantitis if the former is not addressed.
Mucositis – This is the milder version that precedes peri-implantitis that is caused by inflammation. This dental condition is highly treatable, but if it’s left unaddressed, it can progress into peri-implantitis, which can threaten the implant’s stability, thus bone loss.
Peri-implantitis – This is an advanced form of mucositis that may result in the loss of the dental implant and gradual bone loss.
It is thought that almost a third of those with dental implants experience at least one of these issues.
We know that bleeding is a tell-tale sign, but what are the other symptoms?
- Swollen, inflamed gums
- Bad breath
- Loosening of the dental implant
- Bad taste in the mouth
Because these symptoms are relatively vague and could be attributed to a myriad of things, both mucositis and peri-implantitis can largely go unnoticed, especially since they’re pretty painless. This is why regular dental care and routine dental examinations are key to catch this dental implant issue early.
While most implants have been designed to last a lifetime, peri-implantitis is the number one thing that causes them to fail. If mucositis or peri-implantitis is found, it can usually be treated with an extensive dental cleaning to mitigate the bacteria and may be followed with an antibiotic or antibacterial mouthwash prescribed by your oral surgeon.
Preventative dental care is always the best practice when it comes to your oral health, but especially when you have dental implants. You can care for your dental implants similarly to your natural teeth through daily brushing and flossing and go beyond by using water irrigation and mouthwashes that can help keep debris and plaque at bay.
Failure to maintain your dental implants could result in mucositis or peri-implantitis which causes an unstable dental implant and potential bone loss.
Keep your dental implants clean and healthy!