How to Care for Your Dental Implants

Reviewed: May 20, 2016
By eHealthIQ
How to Care for Your Dental Implants

Patients who receive dental implants often ask questions about the kind of maintenance their dental implants they need. The most common question patients ask is if you will floss the implants just like regular teeth? The issue of food getting underneath the implant bridge is also a major concern?

Dental implant patients may need hygienists to advise on an individualized oral home-care routine.

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a titanium structure that a dentist will surgically insert into the jawbone below the gum to that allow for the mounting of a replacement tooth or bridge.

The Ideal Color of Dental Implants

The tissue around the dental implant is typically pink and keratinized when there are no signs of infection. Before you receive your dental implant, the soft tissues surrounding the implant on the outside are always keratinized.

With no keratinized tissue your implant is susceptible to pathogenic bacteria, which could lead to the implant being infected with the peri-implant disease. If you want your implant to remain healthy, you must always maintain a clean keratinized tissue.

Proper Home Care for Dental Implants

Home-care for dental implants should begin before the insertion of the titanium structure. You must have a hygienic oral environment even before you get the dental implant inserted into the place with missing tooth as the clean oral environment will help in faster healing.

There is always the danger of exposing the implants to the environment. Any exposure of the dental implant to the environment may lead to the formation of a salivary pellicle and bacteria.

Routine Implant Maintenance

To prevent your dental implant from deterioration, you will need routine implant maintenance with your dentist or surgeon. Oral hygiene is necessary to ensure that the dental implants remain healthy.

Post-Surgical Home-Care Guidelines for your Implants

The patient also needs some basic knowledge of the titanium implant surface so as to understand why oral hygiene and teeth care products can help.

Dental surgeons nowadays mainly use implants with a rougher titanium surface instead of the smooth titanium alloy. The rougher titanium is prone to osseointegration, which means the growth of bone without the dental fibrous tissue. The grit blasting, plasma spraying, and etching on the implant will enhance the implant-to-bone contact leading to osseointegration.

How do you protect the Dental Implant?

The dental implant is a valuable investment. To protect your implant, you can adapt the following home-care habits:

• Use low-abrasive toothpaste or gel so as not to scratch the exposed implant surface
• Avoid teeth care products with sodium fluoride, stain removers, baking soda, and smoker’s toothpaste
• Brush or floss regularly to remove the stubborn plaque surrounding the implants
• Go for regular check-up and dental cleaning
• You must have healthy gums always
• Use toothbrush with soft bristles

How Long do Implants Last?

Just as you will need a dentist to take care of natural teeth, you must work with a dental specialist to promote the longevity of your dental implants. Unlike natural teeth, implants do not have cavities, tear and wear. You can have dental implants last a lifetime provided you exercise proper dental hygiene.

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