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What you need to know about the maintenance of implants

In some ways, getting dental implants can be a return to normal. Your smile looks just like it used to, or maybe even better than ever. However, your dental hygiene routine might be in need of some tweeks. Learn how you can ensure that your new implants last a lifetime.

What makes implants different

Obviously implants are different than your real teeth. However, in addition to being made from a separate material, implants also attach to the mouth in a different place than natural teeth. While your natural teeth are held in place by gums, implants are typically attached to the jaw with a titanium screw. This titanium screw is meant to replicate the work that the root of a natural tooth does.

Just because an implant isn't attached to your gums doesn't mean that gum health doesn't matter, however. Gum health is essential to maintaining an implant. In fact, in many cases, dentists won't even allow a patient to have dental implants if they have poor gum health, especially if they have periodontal diseases. Gum decay from diseases like gingivitis not only affects gums but also the bones around them. This could leave your implant susceptible to peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis is an infection near the implant that can hurt neighbouring teeth and lead to bone loss. Over a longer period of time, if left untreated, it can cause implant failure. Between five and ten percent of dental implants fail, usually as a result of poor dental hygiene and smoking.

To prevent peri-implantitis and other dental scares, proper maintenance of implants is essential.

Home care

To ensure that your implants last a lifetime, proper care on a daily basis is needed. In general, you can brush and floss in the same manner that you would for a natural tooth. However, it is important to ensure that you use products that are low-abrasive. Steer clear of toothpastes with baking soda or some stain removers.

In addition to thinking carefully about the kind of toothpaste that you use, examine your choice in toothbrush. Be sure to use a brush with relatively soft bristles. Past that, most types of brush, including electric brushes, should work. Like with natural teeth be sure to brush thoroughly twice daily.

Also, like your regular teeth, daily flossing for implants is essential because it helps to maintain your gum health. Your dentist will most likely recommend that you use a floss made specifically for implants. These flosses will help mitigate damage to mitigate damage to gum tissue. The technique for flossing around an implant is also slightly different. To floss properly, crisscross the floss around the implant, forming a circle, and wriggle back and forth.

In the case of both pastes, brushes and floss, as well as any extra equipment, your hygienist can recommend brands and products that will work best for your situation.

At the dentist

In addition to the daily work that is needed to keep implants and the surrounding areas free of infection or disease at home, you will most likely have regularly scheduled check-up appointments with your dentist. At the very least, you should visit your dentist twice a year for regular cleanings and inspections, as well as any time you feel pain in the area of the implant. Your dentist will be able to find possible issues and warning signs with your implants or gums that you might not easily pick up on.

To spot red flags, dentists monitor the tissue around the implant and look at levels of plaque buildup. Your dentist will also use a periodontal probe on the gums around the implant. A probe is an instrument that checks gum thickness, as well as the space between your gums and teeth. If your gums bleed during probing your dentist will take note of that, as that is probably a sign of poor gum health.

Dentists that make you smile

Taking care of a dental implant matters just as much as taking care of your natural tooth. Keeping the gums around the implant healthy is essential to ensuring that your implant works well for the rest of your life. Dental implants also affect all of the teeth around them. Implants help to prevent neighbouring teeth from moving out of place, which would cause pain, destabilise your bite or affect your smile. Keeping the implant clean and healthy will save you money in the long run by preventing additional operations.

No matter your dental situation, City Dentists can work to find a solution. Our implants look just like natural teeth and our dentists are the very top of the line. To speak with the team at City Dentists, call 04 978 4964 or book an appointment online.

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