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The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Your Dental Implants: How to Keep Your Dental Implants Clean and Healthy

 

Dental implants are a good long-term solution for patients who suffer from tooth loss, but it’s important to remember that caring for dental implants requires dedication and daily effort. Many people find caring for their dental implants overwhelming due to the information available about proper implant care. Yet, with a few essential tips and tricks, you can maintain your dental implants so they last for years to come. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to care for your new dental implants, so they remain healthy, attractive, and functional.

  • Importance of Proper Care for Dental Implants

  • How to Clean and Care for Dental Implants

  • Risk Factors That May Affect Quality of Dental Implants

  • How Long Will My Dental Implant Last if I Look After it Properly?

  • Long-Term Care For Dental Implants

  • Who Can Get Dental Implants?

  • The Benefits of Dental Implants

  • Do Dental Implants Fail?

  • Signs of Implant Failure

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Importance of Proper Care for Dental Implants

The success of any dental implant treatment hinges on proper maintenance and care, including being extra mindful of protecting them from plaque build-up, infection, or decay. That is why it is so important to take the necessary steps for proper maintenance of dental implants to ensure that dental implants remain healthy and provide years of service. 

Regular check-ups with a dentist are an integral part of maintaining good oral hygiene and an adequate safeguard against developing complications with the implants. Following a treatment plan prescribed by their dentist, along with regular brushing and flossing, can maximise the long-term benefits of having dental implants.

How to Clean and Care for Dental Implants

Caring for dental implants requires a lot of effort and commitment. Caring for dental implants means that you must do the following dental care routine:

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
    Brush your teeth at least twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush and warm water. Be mindful that brush strokes must be in gentle circular motions rather than scrubbing harshly against the gums using abrasive products. You may also use an interdental or denture brush with soft bristles to clean the small food particles or food debris around the artificial tooth.

  • Make use of a water flosser
    Use a water flosser as part of your daily teeth-cleaning routine. Water flossers can help eliminate plaque and bacteria that can build up around and under the implant, which will help maintain its longevity.

  • Apply floss to the crown and bridge
    For further protection, it is also recommended to floss around the crown and bridge to get rid of plaque and food debris that you cannot reach by brushing alone.

  • Make use of low-abrasive toothpaste
    Be sure to use a low-abrasive toothpaste when brushing to keep the implant surfaces clean and avoid milling away the material over time. We recommend fluoride toothpaste for brushing

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Risk Factors That May Affect Quality of Dental Implants

We can categorise risk factors that may affect the quality of dental implants in many ways. It is not only the dental or oral hygiene routine that contributes to the quality of dental implants. We discuss some of these factors below:

  • Poor oral hygiene
    Poor oral hygiene is one of the most significant contributors to poorer dental implant health, as it increases the likelihood of bacteria build-up and infection. It would help if you considered good oral hygiene habits. If you make improper oral hygiene habits, dental implants will fail at some point, or the recovery time will increase.

  • Smoking
    Smoking can impact the quality of dental implants. The nicotine from cigarette smoke restricts blood flow to your gums, thus weakening your immune system. When this happens, the ability of your mouth to heal and thrive becomes impaired, which may lead to complications with your dental implants, such as inflammation or infection. Recovery time may be longer with continuous smoking post-surgery.

  • Alcohol consumption
    Alcohol affects oral health because it leads to a dry mouth. Without enough saliva, bacteria find it easier to build up in our mouths, as there is nothing to wash away. This is a concern when dental implants are healing.

How Long Will My Dental Implant Last if I Look After it Properly?

While the implant is designed to be permanent, it’s important to remember that the attached crown may need replacing due to normal wear and tear. The durability of these crowns varies, but with proactive care, they should last between 15 and 20 years before needing a replacement.

Long Term Care For Dental Implants

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
    Dental implant care means going back to the basics. Brush your teeth at least twice daily, and brush all angles, including the tooth root, to eliminate food debris. However, do not brush too hard, which may damage the implants. Dental floss may also help to clean the teeth thoroughly. Make sure to do this to avoid bacterial growth and bad breath.

  • Avoid damaging habits
    The longevity of dental implants is dependent on your lifestyle choices and habits. Dental implant care involves avoiding damaging habits such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and drugs. Instead, switch to healthy lifestyle choices to shorten the healing process.

  • Visit your dentist for a regular dental check-up and cleaning every six months
    Maintenance of dental implants is essential for a healthy mouth. It would be advisable to visit your dentist for a check-up and professional cleaning at least every six months to maintain dental implants. Cleaning is essential to eliminate bacteria from teeth. Dental implant care includes regular check-ups to assess the implant’s position, health, and condition so that you can quickly identify any problems to ensure longevity.

Who Can Get Dental Implants?

Anyone who meets specific overall health and dental health criteria is eligible for a dental implant. At the start of the process, potential implant candidates must have good jawbone health and enough healthy gum tissue. They shall also maintain good oral hygiene for dental implant care.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

Having dental implants has various major significant benefits. Some of the major benefits of implants are as follows:

  • Dental implants behave like natural or real teeth
    Dental implants do not interfere with other teeth and look like natural or real teeth providing a more pleasing outcome. It is not apparent that it is only a replacement tooth for tooth loss, broken teeth, or damaged teeth. These implants, although only artificial teeth, can give you beautiful smiles.

  • Dental implants can last many years
    With proper maintenance of dental implants, dental implants provide a permanent solution for tooth replacement; with reasonable care, these can last for many years.

  • Dental implants prevent the loss of bone
    Dental implants support adequate bone structure. When there is a missing tooth, the jaw bone where the gap is found deteriorates due to lack of stimulation; thus, this affects adequate bone structure. If you do not place any dental implant within the first year from the time the tooth is lost, the volume of the bone decreases, and this affects bone density, resulting in bone loss.

  • Dental implants can help keep you free of gum disease
    If there is a missing tooth, food can be stuck in the empty spaces, accumulating bacteria and leading to gum disease. Dental implants can help keep you free of gum disease

  • Dental implants can prevent facial sagging and premature ageing
    Dental implants also have the added benefit of preventing facial sagging. When teeth are missing, the bone that once supported them deteriorates. This situation can cause the lower third of the face to collapse, gradually closing the distance between the nose tip and the chin. Dental implants help to prevent this by keeping the bone healthy and strong.

Dental Implant Costs

The cost of getting a dental implant varies from clinic to clinic. On average, the cost of single implant ranges from $4,000 to $6,000 in South Perth.

Do Dental Implants Fail?

It depends. Everyone’s mouth and bone structure are unique, but generally, dental implants have a high success rate. When implanted and maintained, they become integrated with your natural bone while offering a stable foundation for tooth replacements that can look, feel, and work like natural teeth.

Signs of Implant Failure

  • Chewing difficulties
    Signs of dental implant failure may vary from patient to patient, but one of the most common signs is difficulty chewing. Patients who experience this symptom may find their implants stick when opening or closing their mouths, or it takes excessive effort to chew food properly.

  • Gum inflammation
    Swelling and redness around the gum line may indicate an infection or suggest the implant is improperly fitted into place. You must identify any signs of these issues early to avoid severe teeth and jaw damage leading to dental implant failure.

  • Gum recession
    One particular sign that the implant may have failed is gum recession when gums recede away from the tooth and expose more of the tooth or part of the implant material.

  • Irritation and swelling
    You can expect irritation and swelling right after the dental implant procedure. However, if the problem lasts for weeks, there must be a dental implant failure.

  • Shifted or loose implant or replaced tooth
    One of the most common telltale signs of dental failure is when you detect a shifted or loose implant. If you believe that this may be happening, it is best to consult your dentist to have it inspected as soon as possible. Identifying signs early on can help save time, money, and potential discomfort in long-term procedures.

  • Intense pain or discomfort
    Intense pain or discomfort in the tooth and gum area may result from dental implant failure. If you experience these symptoms, seek treatment from the dentist to determine if your dental implants are failing.

What Can You Not Do After Dental Implant Surgery?

  • Avoid strenuous exercise
    After dental implant surgery, it is important to avoid strenuous exercise to ensure the procedure’s success during the healing period. Activity that increases your heart rate and blood pressure can put too much strain on the healing sites and contribute to complications. Avoid jogging, running, or any other vigorous activity until your dentist has cleared you for total activity levels. Caring for dental implants begins on the day you get an implant. Health conditions matter as well. Lifestyle habits directly affect the period of time for recovery.

  • Avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods
    Avoiding hard, crunchy, or sticky foods after dental implant surgery is essential to healing. While it may be tempting to indulge in some of your favourite treats during recovery, these types of food can cause implant damage and put you at risk for infection weeks after surgery. Your dentist or oral surgeon can recommend soft, safe food as your mouth heals during dental implant recovery. As much as possible, have a soft food diet after dental treatments.

  • Avoid hot food, spicy food, and acidic foods
    Avoid eating hot food or anything too spicy for at least three weeks following surgery to ensure an ideal dental implant recovery. Such foods can aggravate the surgical site, leading to discomfort, swelling, and other undesirable symptoms.

  • Do not smoke or use tobacco products
    Smoking or using any tobacco product after dental implant surgery can have repercussions that are detrimental to your health. Smoking and tobacco can cause complications due to lack of blood flow and infections, leading to increased healing time, pain, and stress on already broken-down oral tissue.

  • Avoid alcohol
    Alcohol suppresses the body’s ability to fight infection, reduces saliva flow, and opens up blood vessels creating increased swelling and potentially damaging a newly implanted structure in your mouth. Besides, drinking alcohol can also interfere with prescribed medications or increase their potential side effects. You shall avoid alcohol during dental implant recovery.

Final Thoughts

Even though dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth, it’s important to remember that they’re still susceptible to infection and other problems. That’s why taking care of your dental implants and seeing your dentist is essential. With proper care, dental implants should last many years to give you an attractive smile. 

For more information on how to care for dental implants, book an appointment online or call South Perth Dental Surgery today.

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