Maintaining Your Dental Implants

Dental implants are among the most popular treatments for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are screw-like dental prosthetics that are made of biocompatible metal, inserted into the jawbone, and intended to mimic the sturdiness of a tooth's natural root structure. Dental implants can be used individually with dental crowns to permanently replace individual teeth on a one-for-one basis, or strategically placed dental implants can be used to anchor dental bridges or dentures for a more secure and natural-feeling fit. 

Why Do Dental Implants Require Care?

Like all dental prosthetics, dental implants require daily care and some ongoing maintenance to increase their longevity and ensure they remain securely fixed inside the mouth. Primarily, care for dental implants (and the prosthetic teeth they support) should aim to achieve two goals: preventing periodontal disease to maintain the health of the jawbone that supports the dental implant and preventing damage from excessive wear and tear. 

Advanced periodontal disease (a severe bacterial infection of the gum tissues) can lead to the deterioration of the jawbone. If periodontal disease is allowed to develop and advance to this degree of infection, then dental implants can be at risk of weakening, coming loose, and being lost. 

Excessive wear and tear is not likely to damage the actual dental implant (the screw-like prosthetic that is implanted in the jawbone). However, it can damage the visible portion of the entire dental prosthetic, such as the dental crown, bridge, or dentures. 

Dental Implant Maintenance: How to Care for Your Dental Implants

Compared to other tooth-replacement treatment options, caring for dental implants is relatively easy; it's quite similar to taking care of your natural teeth. Dental implant care recommendations vary slightly depending on the type of dental implant treatment. 

Individual Dental Implants

Individual dental implants should be cared for like natural teeth. Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush for two minutes twice a day and floss your teeth daily with unwaxed or implant-specific dental floss. Be careful to brush thoroughly and gently around and under the dental implant crown. 

We also recommend using a nylon-coated interdental brush to reach all of the crevices, nooks, and crannies around the dental implant. Additionally, you should begin using a water flosser or oral irrigator to thoroughly flush bacteria, buildup, and debris from around the dental implant. 

All-on-4 Dental Implants

To care for dentures or bridges that are permanently affixed to dental implants, continue brushing, as described above. You will also need to use dental floss threaders (consisting of a floss threader, spongy floss, and normal floss sections) after every meal to clean beneath and around your denture or dental bridge. Use the threader to thread the floss under the bridge or denture and the spongy section to clean under the prosthetic and between your dental implants. 

Regular, daily cleaning with a water flosser in addition to routine rinsing with alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash will also help to keep your gums clean and free from debris while minimizing harmful bacteria. 

Implant-Supported Dentures (Overdentures)

Implant-supported dentures or bridges (i.e. those that can be removed from the dental implants) need to be removed and cleaned daily. The denture should be soaked in a mild cleaner, formulated specifically for dentures. Before placing the denture back in your mouth, brush it with a soft denture brush and rinse it thoroughly with water. 

You can also inspect the denture's clips, locator caps, and o-rings for any signs of damage or wear. If you notice any changes, schedule a dental appointment right away. 

Professional Dental Cleanings

Professional dental cleanings and examinations continue to be essential to individuals who have dental implants. These exams ensure your teeth, gums, and jawbone remain healthy to support your dental implants and ongoing oral health. 

Athletic Mouthguards and Nightguards

If you participate in athletic activities or are prone to grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw while you sleep, then an athletic mouthguard or nightguard will help protect your dental implant crown, dentures, or dental bridge from damage. 

Dental Implant Restoration

While they are designed to last a lifetime, dental implants or the prosthetics they support can sometimes become loose or damaged. If you notice any changes to the way your dental prosthetic feels or looks, we strongly recommend scheduling a dental appointment as soon as possible.  

Restore Your Smile's Form and Function With Dental Implants

If you have been searching for a "prosthodontist near me" or "dental implants near me", then search no more. Our doctors at Oral Implant and Reconstructive Dentistry in Lewis Center, Ohio specialize in restorative and cosmetic dentistry using dental implants. We are highly experienced and educated in the entire treatment process from consultation and patient preparation to the surgical placement of dental implants and their ongoing care. 

We would be happy to talk with you about the process of getting dental implants and the myriad benefits of choosing this tooth-replacement treatment option. To learn more or request a consultation with a doctor at Oral Implant and Reconstructive Dentistry, we welcome you to contact our office today.

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