Dental implants offer an amazing opportunity to replace missing teeth without sacrificing your natural smile or tooth function. But like natural teeth, dental implants can fail. In fact, poor dental implant maintenance is the main cause of failed dental implants.
When you think about it, it makes sense. Consider for a moment why you likely lost your tooth (or multiple teeth) and ultimately replaced it with a dental implant. If you are like most people, there’s a good chance you lost your tooth because of decay or periodontal disease. Decay and disease are usually caused by inadequate oral hygiene.
For this reason, it’s worth knowing that good dental implant maintenance is just as important as regular oral hygiene that’s required for natural teeth. Practicing good dental implant maintenance is the single best thing you can do to keep your dental implant(s) healthy.
Keep your implants healthy & avoid peri-implantitis
It’s true — The titanium material that dental implants are made from is impervious to bacteria as compared to natural teeth. In fact, teeth can decay, while dental implants do not. Even still, plaque can build up around dental implants over time. And when plaque is left unremoved each day, it turns into tartar and dental calculus.
When tartar and calculus build up on a dental implant tooth, your gums and surrounding bone can become diseased. The technical term for this condition is peri-implantitis.
Swollen gums and bone loss around a dental implant are big problems often caused by peri-implantitis. Significant bone loss around a dental implant may ultimately lead to your implant having to be removed.
You can significantly decrease the likelihood of developing peri-implantitis by doing the following: 1.) Visit your dentist’s office at least twice a year for a professional cleaning, and 2.) Exercise a good daily oral hygiene regimen.
Visiting your dentist & hygienist regularly is highly recommended
There is no substitute for routine dental cleaning visits. Even with proper daily brushing and flossing, tartar can still accumulate around your teeth and implants. Only a dentist and dental hygienist have the proper instrumentation and required training to clean above and beneath the gum surface around your implant teeth.
If you hope to keep your dental implant(s) healthy for the rest of your life, there is no substitute for the benefit of visiting your dental office for a professional cleaning at least every six months.
A dental professional must be able to routinely examine your implant teeth for tartar buildup. Tartar cannot be removed with a toothbrush and floss. When tartar is present, it must be professionally removed.
But there is good news. When caught early, calculus buildup removal will help prevent conditions from worsening and reaching a diseased state or peri-implantitis. If you have not made it a habit to visit your dentist at least twice a year, there’s no better time to begin than the present. Consider an implant dentist near you.
Daily cleaning of your dental implant teeth is paramount
Similar to the importance of visiting your dentist twice per year, nothing can take the place of adequate daily brushing and flossing around your dental implant teeth.
Good daily oral hygiene practices are what will help you prevent tartar buildup and protect your oral healthcare investment.
Even when you brush well, small food deposits can remain trapped between your teeth and beneath your gums. It’s these food deposits that turn into plaque, which can lead to problems around your dental implants.
Even if you find it difficult to floss your teeth every day, you should not abandon the process of cleaning between your dental implant(s). Flossing alternatives include interdental brushes, dental picks, floss threaders and water flossers.
However, these flossing alternatives may not be best-suited for your specific needs. For the best results, discuss these and other available flossing alternatives with your dental professional. Given your unique circumstances, a dental professional can recommend the best flossing alternative for you.
Removal of food deposits and plaque from the surfaces of your implant teeth — daily — is the main goal. Whether you have one dental implant or a complete upper and/or lower set of teeth with the TeethXpress full-mouth dental implant procedure, protecting the health of your dental implant investment will serve you well long-term.
Visit your dentist at least twice per year for a professional implant evaluation and cleaning. Equally important, thoroughly clean around and in-between your dental implants and natural teeth, daily. Doing so will place you in the best position to keep your dental implants healthy for a lifetime.