Hygiene and Care
Taking care of your implants is just as important as your natural teeth. Just like your natural teeth, there are no guarantees that you will keep them forever. You have to take care of them. They are susceptible to bacteria, infection, bone loss, and unfortunate loss if not properly cared for. You have made a large investment in dental implants, and it is an investment worth caring for.
One of the best things about implants is that they cannot decay like natural teeth. However, the metal surfaces of the implant connector piece are very susceptible to plaque build up, which can happen fast if not cleaned regularly and thoroughly. This plaque provides a “safe house” of sorts for bacteria, which can work their way down and around the implant in the bone causing bone loss, and eventual implant loss. It is a very similar process to periodontal disease. The infection is known as peri-implantitis.
The most important part is at home care and hygiene. You will brush and floss around your implant just as you would your natural teeth several times a day. We recommend using a soft bristled tooth brush, and use mouthwash (Listerine, Scope, etc.) in place of tooth paste. Also rinsing with the mouthwash several times a day can help maintain a healthy oral environment around the implants.
It is extremely important to care for any remaining natural teeth you have in the same manner. Dental implants will not be placed if you have remaining teeth that have not been cleaned recently and cared for.
Again you will have to have regular cleanings and check-ups for the implants like you would for your natural teeth, even if you do not have any teeth left and only the implants. The frequency of these visits ranges from every 3 months to every 6 months. This will help ensure longevity of the implants.
Our office does not have a hygienist and thus you will need to find another dental office that can perform these for you. If you do not have anyone in mind we will happily refer you to one of our fantastic colleagues.