Though dental implants are permanent fixtures that do not decay, gum and bone surrounding the implants are still susceptible to deterioration. To ward off implant failure, supporting bone and gum tissue will need to be kept healthy. A thorough at-home oral hygiene routine paired with regular visits to the dentist will keep your dental implants in good shape and prevent complications from taking place.
The Importance of Dental Implant Care
Improper dental implant care can have some nasty consequences such as peri-implantitis, which is a periodontal infection where the tissues encompassing an implant become badly inflamed. Peri-implant mucositis, accompanied by oral bleeding, is often one of the first symptoms of peri-implant disease. If this issue is detected early enough, measures can be taken to reverse it entirely. Left untreated, however, mucositis can lead to peri-implantitis (bone loss), which cannot be reversed but is possible to manage. When peri-implantitis is not addressed, advanced bone loss may occur and subsequently require the removal of dental implants.
At-Home Dental Implant Maintenance
Maintaining dental implants is much like oral care for natural teeth, meaning you should brush twice daily and also be sure to floss. When brushing your teeth, opt for a toothpaste with low abrasion and thoroughly cleanse around the entirety of implants to completely rid them of any food particles and bacteria. Floss should be either unwaxed tape or one specifically made for implant use to avoid damaging surrounding gum tissue. Interdental brushes can be a useful tool for reaching between implants with particularly tight spacing.
What to Expect from Dental Visits
Regular visits to the dentist are essential for everyone, but especially so for patients who have dental implants. In addition to professional teeth cleaning, your dental provider will measure and explore the gums surrounding the implant, assess bite, and search for any looseness in dental implants during your visit. Annual x-rays will be taken to compare implants to their original state and check for any changes. The hygienist or dentist will also examine all implant attachments to assess function.
From daily maintenance to keeping up with your dental appointments, tending to your implants and overall oral health is essential to preventing dental implant failure. Want to learn more about dental implants? Contact Dentistry at East Piedmont today and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have!