Dental Implant Prophylaxis
Help Ensure Successful Dental Implants
Dental Implants require similar care to that of natural teeth; They should be kept clean and plaque free twice a day using a brush and floss. Cleaning is especially important after meals. This is accomplished by gently brushing, giving special attention to all sides of the implants.
Oral Hygiene aids may include:
- Small, soft, manual toothbrush or an electric brush
- Non-abrasive, tartar-control toothpaste
- Dental floss for cleaning around the abutments in order to prevent plaque and gum disease
- Antimicrobial mouth rinses to reduce chance of dental implant infection
Caring for Implant-Supported Dentures
If you have implant-supported dentures, a bit more goes into daily cleaning.
- Clean all around the abutments and gently brush the surrounding gums
- Clean the gaps between the dentures and the gums. We can recommend a special cleaning tool you can use
- Floss between the dentures and gums
- Rinse daily with an antibacterial rinse or mouthwash
Twice Yearly Professional Cleaning and Care
See your dentist twice a year for a complete dental cleaning and checkup. If you have a fixed implant denture, your dentist can remove it temporarily to perform a thorough cleaning and check for any hidden gum or jawbone issues. If any abutments or clips need replacing, your dentist will advise you of this and replace any worn devices. Your dentist is your first line of defense against dental implant failure. They can spot infection, plaque, and other problems before noticeable symptoms develop.
What is Dental Implant Failure?
If the dental implant becomes loose or cannot support a crown or implant dentures, it has failed. It may have to be removed depending on the location, amount of damage, and whether there is an infection in the bone surrounding the titanium screw. Fortunately, dental implant failure is rare. With proper oral hygiene, about 95% of dental implants are successful.
What Causes Dental Implant Failure?
The cause of a dental implant failure is not always known, but the most likely reasons include:
- Gum disease
- Debris trapped in the gums around the implant
- Smoking, which slows the healing process and reduces blood flow to the area
- Insufficient jawbone – if the jawbone is too brittle or lacks sufficient width and density to hold the implant firmly, it could potentially fail
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
With proper care, your implants should last a lifetime. The implants are titanium posts or screws that, over several months, fuse with and integrate into the jawbone. The crowns attached to them can last for decades, although normal wear and tear can affect them. Some patients need implant dentures periodically, 4-6 years on average. However, it is not unusual for crowns to last twenty years or more though. Taking proper care of your new smile and seeing your dentist twice a year to help ensure that your implants do not fail and your crowns or dentures will last as long as possible is essential.
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