Some people believe that because a dental implant cannot get cavities or decay, they don’t need to clean it as thoroughly as they would natural teeth. This isn’t the case! The existence of healthy gum tissue and supporting bone is critical to the success of dental implants, and clean gums are healthy gums.
Specific techniques and efforts are required to keep your implant(s) clean and free of harmful bacteria and plaque, which can cause peri-implantitis, to ensure their longevity. (Peri-implantitis is a destructive inflammatory condition affecting the soft and hard tissues surrounding the implant, which can result in implant loss.)
Despite the cleaning issues that some types of prostheses pose, implants are a highly effective medical operation. Preventing peri-implant disease is critical for long-term implant health and function. The way you look after your implant(s) is crucial to their success.
Single Tooth Implants (home care is the same as natural teeth):
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush to clean your teeth at least twice a day
- Use a toothpaste that isn’t too abrasive
- Brush under the implant crown and around it
- Clean hard-to-reach areas with a nylon-coated interdental brush
- Floss with unwaxed tape or implant-specific floss on a daily basis
- Use an oral irrigator that has been recommended (Water-Pik).
- Ask your Prosthodontist about a retainer or night guard if you clench or grind your teeth at night.
- Unless your Prosthodontist recommends more frequent cleanings, see your dental hygienist twice a year
Overdentures With Implants (Removable):
- After each meal, remove the denture, rinse thoroughly, and gently brush the underside with a denture brush and non-abrasive cleaner/toothpaste
- Brush around your implants with a toothbrush while the denture is out to remove any debris and prevent plaque buildup
- Before putting the overdenture in your mouth, thoroughly rinse it with water
- If your Prosthodontist recommends soaking your dentures daily, clean them as directed above, then soak them for the recommended time in a specific cleaner. (Some of them must be soaked overnight, while others do not.) Inquire with your dentist about the best treatment option for you.)
- Inspect any o-rings, locator caps, and clips for wear or missing parts and notify your dentist
- Consult your dentist about replacing O-rings and locator caps once a year to keep them in good working order, as they deteriorate over time.
According to your dentist’s recommendations, schedule routine checkups. Depending on a variety of factors, this can range from 3 to 12 months. Again, seek advice from your dentist to determine what is best for you.
Fixed Bridges with Full Arches or Fixed Bridges with All Four Arches
The design of this type of prosthesis is one of the reasons it can be difficult for some patients to keep clean. It is critical that the prosthesis be constructed with cleanability in mind, with the underside finished in a convex design so that it can be easily cleaned without trapping food debris and plaque underneath.
Brush Your Teeth With a Soft-Bristle Toothbrush At Least Twice a Day
At least twice a day, use a Water Pik. Look for angles and access points that will allow the most food debris to be dislodged. If non-keratinized tissue attachment to the implants is present, use a medium or low setting because a high setting may irritate or separate it from the implants.
- Floss under the bridge at least once a day. Oral B’s Super Floss is excellent, but you can also use a floss threader and regular floss
- Clean the part of the prosthesis that touches your gums with a sulcus brush
- Use Listerine or another disinfectant mouthwash on a daily basis
What’s Not Recommended?
Instruments made of plastic or metal that look like those used by dentists. Metal instruments have been shown to scratch the implant surface, allowing bacteria to colonize and cause damage, while plastic instruments have been shown to embed residues onto the implant surface. These surfaces must remain scratch-free and maintain their integrity in order to last a lifetime. For more information, call or message us right now for about our dental implants in San Antonio, Texas.