The most beautiful thing you can wear is a smile. However, it’s challenging to put on your brightest smile every day if you have tooth decay, missing teeth, or massive, apparent gaps in your mouth.
Thanks to modern innovations in dentistry, you no longer have to settle for traditional dentures as the only option to replace your missing teeth. You can enjoy more secure, natural, and longer-lasting replacement teeth with dental implants. The implant’s longevity depends on how it’s cared for, though.
So, as you read on, you’ll discover helpful tips for maintaining a functional and aesthetically beautiful smile for decades to come!
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a surgically implanted metal post that supports a tooth replacement or artificial tooth. Once the implant has been placed, the dentist or oral surgeon adds a substitute tooth.
Dental implants are used to replace tooth roots with metal screw-like posts and replace missing or broken teeth with artificial teeth that look and function like natural teeth. Dental implant surgery can be a welcome alternative to poor-fitting dentures or dental bridges and is a viable choice when denture or bridgework tooth replacement is not possible due to a lack of real tooth roots.
How to Clean and Care for Dental Implants
Dental implants must be cleaned and cared for properly to maintain their appearance and functionality. Poor dental implant care can increase your chance of developing an inflammatory condition affecting the soft and hard tissues around the implants. If left untreated, it can result in the loss of bone and the dental implant. However, cleaning your dental implants regularly will help you reduce your chance of developing dental problems and ensure that your smile remains bright, healthy, and attractive for years to come.
Here is a detailed guide on how to clean dental implants, along with extra tips on how to prolong the life of your implants.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Soft bristles are less prone to injuring or bleeding your gums and are just as effective at eliminating tartar and plaque as medium or hard bristles. Since electric toothbrushes generate a more significant number of brush strokes than the human hand, they have been demonstrated to disrupt and remove bacteria from teeth more effectively than manual toothbrushes. Whether you choose a manual or electric toothbrush, make sure it has gentle bristles.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
Brushing immediately after waking up eliminates morning breath. It cleans the mouth of bacteria that have accumulated overnight. Brushing in the evening before bedtime aids in the removal of bacteria that have accumulated throughout the day and decreases the danger of plaque formation and deterioration overnight. Numerous dentists recommend brushing after each meal or as needed throughout the day to remove food particles and microorganisms.
Make use of a water flosser.
Additionally, referred to as an oral irrigator or dental water jet, a water flosser disturbs and removes microorganisms from pockets as deep as 6 mm. Numerous water flossers include rubber-tip stimulators and other attachments meant to accommodate sensitive gums and effectively clean between-tooth spaces. Numerous dentists prefer water flossers over dental floss, as some floss brands can drop particles that contribute to peri-implantitis. Ensure that you first use the water flosser to avoid blowing away the fluoride toothpaste introduced during brushing and flossing.
Apply floss to the crown and bridge.
Crowns and bridge floss are explicitly created to clean beneath and around dental implants. It features two stiff nylon ends and a fuzzy centre that gently clean the dental implant surface and any porcelain that comes into contact with the gumline. The firm ends up making it possible to enter the floss between the dental implants and draw it through to the other side. You can then brush it side to side against the implant surface. It’s a good idea to use this floss immediately after brushing to remove any toothpaste residue from your mouth. This allows you to spread the fluoride evenly around the implant, preventing undesirable bacterial growth.
Make use of low-abrasive toothpaste.
Utilize toothpaste free of abrasive components like baking soda or stain-remover agents, as these ingredients can cause the acrylic to wear and the glaze to come off porcelain implants. Purchase toothpaste formulated specifically for dental implants or consult your dentist for toothpaste recommendations.
Brush under and around the dental implant crown.
Bacteria and plaque can collect beneath and around the implant crown, increasing the risk of developing peri-implantitis. To reach these areas, consider using an angled-neck toothbrush or an interdental brush with a small head—particularly if your implant is positioned in the back of your mouth.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
With good cleaning and flossing, the implant screw itself can last a lifetime if the patient has regular dental check-ups every six months. On the other hand, the ceramic crown usually lasts 10 to 15 years before being replaced due to wear and tear. However, the crown’s life can be extended beyond 15 years with proper care and use.
The placement of a dental implant in the mouth also influences its longevity. Since implants in the back of the mouth are more actively used when chewing, they will likely wear out faster than implants in the front of the mouth.
Do Dental Implants Fail?
Failure of a dental implant is uncommon, although it does happen. There is no need to fear if this occurs because treatment is available. Sometimes the underlying reason for a failure can be prevented. Dental implants are usually safe and effective, but correct implantation takes training and experience.
Signs of Implant Failure
Many complications can arise during dental implant treatment if an experienced, trained professional does not perform the dental implants procedure. Dental implant failure can happen within the immediate post-operative period or be a long-term failure. How do you know if a dental implant has failed?
We’ve highlighted the warning indicators you should look for following dental implant placement.
What to Do If You Suspect Dental Implant Failure?
The cause of the failure determines treatment for failing implants. In cases when a gum infection, referred to as peri-implantitis, is causing the implants to fail, the treatment may consist of simply cleaning the implant and focusing on better oral hygiene practices in the future. If discovered and treated early, peri-implantitis has a reasonably good prognosis.
A bone transplant may be required if the bone around the implant has been damaged or stressed. Dental implants can only be inserted in areas of the jawbone where there is enough bone density. A bone graft will be required if jawbone loss or bone injury has caused an implant to fail.
How to Avoid Dental Implant Failure
To enjoy the full benefits of implant advanced dental treatment, here are the following tips to be considered in avoiding dental implant failure:
Take prescribed medication as directed:
Dental implants are surgically implanted during oral surgery. As with any other surgical procedure, infection is a significant risk. Infections cause inflammation of the tissues, and the implant may fail to merge with the jawbone. Patients may be provided with an oral antibiotic or given an antibacterial rinse to lower their risk of infection. Patients must follow all prescribed medications and rinses to avoid infection and dental implant failure.
Maintain proper oral hygiene habits:
Another way to limit the risk of infection following dental implant surgery is to practice good oral hygiene habits. Bacteria cause infections and brushing and flossing remove bacteria from the teeth and gums. While patients will be unable to brush directly over the incision site until the gums have healed, they should continue brushing and flossing adjacent teeth. Additionally, a warm salt water rinse can be utilised to clean the surgical site without fracturing any sutures.
Avoid hard foods:
Patients are encouraged to adjust their diet following a dental implant procedure temporarily. While chewing hard items may be difficult, it can also interrupt the healing process and cause incisions to open, both of which can result in dental implant failure. Each patient will receive individual diet instructions following dental implant treatment. However, it is generally recommended that patients follow a liquid diet for the first 24 hours following the procedure, followed by a soft food diet for the first week of recovery.
Refrain from smoking:
Smoking is harmful to the body in various ways, but it is especially damaging to individuals recovering after surgery. Smoking has been found to impede the healing process by restricting blood flow. This deprives surgical sites of nutrition necessary for healing and rehabilitation. To avoid dental implant failure, patients who smoke should abstain from smoking for at least two weeks before treatment and for at least two months following.
Prevent the teeth from oral trauma:
Another possible reason for dental implant failure is oral trauma. Oral injuries can delay recovery and prevent implants from fusing with the patient’s bone tissues. For at least a couple of months following the dental implant invasive procedure, patients should abstain from contact sports and other activities that could result in oral harm.
Even after a patient has fully recovered from dental implant treatment, the patient may experience late-term implant failure if the mouth is significantly traumatised. Patients should always use a protective mouthguard to limit this danger when participating in contact sports.
Having an attractive smile enhances your overall quality of life, including confidence, health conditions, enjoyment, and friendliness. If your smile does not make you feel good and you’re ready to take the first step toward a teeth makeover, call Narre Warren Dental Care at 03 8771 403 or schedule an appointment online.
If you’re concerned about damaged teeth or simply looking for a general dentist in Victoria, Australia, you’ve reached the right place!
At Narre Warren Dental Care, we provide a state-of-the-art treatment option. Our skilled team specialises in general dentistry and implant dentistry and can provide you with reasonable, high-quality dental care.
Avoid delaying treatment—the longer you wait to repair damaged or decayed teeth, the more difficult they may be to restore and the greater the likelihood that they will spread to other areas of your mouth. It is preferable to save your teeth than to live with regrets afterwards. Hence, be sure to get in touch with us immediately. We’re excited to hear from you!
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