Your New Dental Implants and How to Care for Them
The overall success rate of dental implants is 95 percent, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS). And by having the procedure performed by a trained and experienced oral surgeon, you are much more likely to achieve the best possible results.
With proper care, implants can last a lifetime.
Oral Hygiene Tips for Dental Implants
Just like your natural teeth, dental implants require you to maintain sound oral hygiene habits to avoid dental problems. Otherwise you may end up with plaque buildup, infection and gum disease.
That means brushing and flossing twice daily. For some patients, it can be a good idea to rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash too.
To effectively clean around your implants, you may want to use a specially designed toothbrush. Interdental brushes have small, bristled heads that fit between teeth and implants. We can recommend the appropriate interdental brush size and type that will be most beneficial for you to use.
Habits That Can Damage Dental Implants
Smoking is associated with an increased risk of dental health issues, including gum disease and oral cancer. The research shows that smoking and tobacco use can contribute to implant failure.
According to one study published by the National Institutes of Health, smokers suffer twice as many dental implant failures as nonsmokers. For these reasons, we advise our patients to cease tobacco use before having implant surgery.
Biting or chewing on hard foods can break your implant crowns, so avoid crunching on ice or hard candy. And never chew on non-food objects. Try to break your nail-biting or pencil-chomping habits, as these actions can be hard on implants.
Finally, just as your mother always told you, don’t use your teeth as tools. Cracking nuts, opening bottles and tearing open packages can all damage natural teeth as well as dental implants.
Professional Maintenance for Dental Implants
Regular checkups are necessary to maintain the health of your new dental implants, just as they are for your natural teeth. We typically recommend an office visit every three to six months, depending on your overall oral health.
Professional cleanings are critical, because even the most diligent at-home brushing and flossing is rarely sufficient to remove all of the plaque, tartar and bacteria that build up in the nooks and crannies around your implants. Professional dental cleanings keep your natural teeth healthy and help prevent implant failure.
In addition, your oral surgeon needs to periodically examine your implants for signs of potential problems. Peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis, inflammatory diseases that can cause tissue and bone loss, can occasionally develop without pain or other obvious symptoms.
The early detection and treatment of problems provides the best chance for successful treatment and long-term implant health.
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah provides professional oral health care services to patients in Salt Lake City and the surrounding communities. We are dedicated to your family’s health and well-being. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of dental implants.
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