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Dental Implants: Aftercare Guide

Today dental implants are the state-of-the-art tooth-replacement systems and are a very common treatment option to replace teeth among adults. Implants can also be used to help stabilize a denture for comfort and function. According to The International Dental Association, 85% of people are ready to restore their missing teeth with an implant-based treatment option and this is increasing by nearly 5% every year.

No matter what kind of implant you have, how well you care for it is the key to its long term success. To ensure the longevity of an implant, specific measures and efforts are needed to keep it clean and free from harmful bacteria and plaque that can cause infection in the tissues around the implant and lead to its failure. Without tenacious biofilm removal peri-implant, the disease can develop and result in implant failure.

What is the peri-implant disease?

Peri-implant disease is an inflammatory condition that affects both, the soft and hard tissues surrounding an implant. Bacteria can develop at the base of the implant or below the gum line, similar to a natural tooth. The bacteria irritates gum tissue over time, causing it to become inflamed. This can also weaken the tissue, and if not treated early, it causes degradation of the bone structure below the implant.

Peri-implant disease is classified into two categories :

In peri-implant mucositis, gum inflammation is found only around the soft tissues of the dental implant, with no signs of bone loss. Generally, peri-implant mucositis is a precursor to peri-implantitis. Evidence suggests that peri-implant mucositis may be successfully treated and is reversible if caught early.

In peri-implantitis, gum inflammation is found around the soft tissue and there is deterioration in the bone supporting the dental implant. Peri-implantitis usually requires surgical treatment.

Here’s how to give the best care to your implants :

1). Brushing: Start brushing after the tissue completely heals to prevent infection as soon as possible. A regular toothbrush may initially be too harsh. Use a special toothbrush for implant care that is intended for use after implant placement. Clean at least twice a day, paying particular attention to the area of the implant.

For multiple implants supporting a bridge, it is important to ensure the area between the implant bridge and gums are kept thoroughly clean as debris can accumulate there and cause problems.

2). Interdental Brushes: These are special brushes to reach the sides of the implants and clean those little spaces effectively. They are available in different sizes, texture, and design to fit individual needs.

3). Use a low abrasive toothpaste for cleaning.

4). Floss Daily. Daily flossing is an important part of your oral health care routine to help remove the plaque from those areas where a toothbrush doesn’t completely reach.

5). Water Flosser: It is a specially designed device that uses water pressure to direct water into the mouth and teeth to remove plaque, traces of food, and massage the gums. Unlike traditional manual flossing, a water flosser is more than just a removal of residual food matter but offers some additional perks and advantages.

Benefits of water flossing vs traditional string flossing

  • Reaches areas in the mouth where traditional flossing is problematic.
  • Unlike manual floss, water is less prone to cause bleeding in the gums.
  • Very easy to use, especially for people who wear braces, dental bridges, or other types of dental structures on the teeth.
  • Provide a message that will improve overall gum health.

6). Gum Stimulators: Stimulators can encourage healthy gum tissue, which is crucial in maintaining a dental implant. The best kind to use is rubber-tipped stimulators to be gentle on the gums.

7). Use of anti-microbial, non-alcoholic mouthwashes to keep your oral cavity bacteria-free.

Implants are a profoundly successful treatment procedure. However, you must be committed not only to the daily performance of dental hygiene at home but to regular visits to your dentist. It is recommended that you see your dentist every 3-6 months for a professional examination and cleaning.

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Summirow Dental Clinic