So you just got your shiny new smile and you’re looking for tips on dental implant care. Well, you’ve come to the right place! We understand that you want to take care of your new dental implant to avoid any future complications such as gum disease or chipping. Fortunately, your new dental implant is easy to care for with a daily routine.
Dental implants are the preferred method for prosthetic replacement of missing teeth. In fact, many of our patients prefer this tooth replacement option because it’s a natural looking and durable alternative to dentures. If you’re still in the consideration phase, then it’s important to understand the different types of dental implants and how to care for the artificial replacement teeth. A good candidate for implants should have healthy gums, enough bone to anchor the implants into the jaw, and a commitment to taking care of their implanted teeth and surrounding gums. During your first appointment, we will examine your gums and provide home-care recommendations to prepare you for your dental implants. If you’ve already gotten your dental implant, read on to learn how to care for it.
Two Main Types of Dental Implants
You can replace one or several missing teeth with dental implants. There are two kinds of dental implants that the American Dental Association see as safe.
Endosteal implants are surgically inserted directly into the jawbone. After the surrounding gum tissue heals, a second surgery is required to attach a post to the initial implant. Ultimately, an artificial tooth (or teeth) is connected to the post-individually or arranged on a bridge or denture.
A subperiosteal implant is a metal frame that rests on top of the jawbone just beneath the gum tissue. As your gums heal, the frame becomes attached to the jawbone. Then posts, connected to the frame, protrude through the gums. Finally, your artificial teeth are mounted to the posts.
Dental Implant Care Tips
In most cases, dental implants are successful. However, there are a few measures you can take to improve success and make your implant last. For starters, follow good oral hygiene practices and remember to brush twice a day and floss once daily. Consider using interdental brushes that slide between teeth and helps clean the difficult to reach spaces around your implant.
Your goal is to make sure the tissue surrounding your implant maintains a pink color. It should be firm and keratinized with no signs of infection.
- Stop smoking
- Smoking is a systemic issue that can weaken the bone structure and contribute to implant failure.
- Schedule regular dental appointments
- Schedule cleanings and exams every six months to help ensure your implant is in top condition, and that it stays that way.
- Avoid eating hard foods
- Don’t eat hard items that could break your crown and your natural teeth. Avoid chewing on ice, eating hard candy, and opening bottles with your teeth.
- Use an oral irrigator
- Consider using an oral irrigator to reduce plaque and biofilm build-up, reduce inflammation, and clean hard to reach areas around the implants.
Dental Implant Care For The Future
The success of your implants depends on your oral hygiene. Whenever possible, use a low-abrasive toothpaste or gel to keep your mouth clean and healthy.
How Do Implants Fail?
Dental implant malfunctions can occur for various reasons and on multiple levels. For example, the failure to heal within the bone, a process known as “osseointegration,” can cause a short-term failure. We can usually associate this type of failure with systemic factors, such as smoking, unchecked diabetes or low bone density. In addition, inadequate oral hygiene and gum disease can place you at risk for a failed dental implant.
You’ll know if your implant is failing if you are experiencing pain, the movement of the implant fixture, bone loss, bleeding, and the production of pus. These short-term failures are handled by removing the implant, repairing the surgical site with a bone graft, and allowing it to heal before attempting to place another fixture. Because bone heals much more slowly than soft tissue, this process can take several months. As a result, you may need to schedule additional appointments.