So you have the nice new dental implant placed and restored, but now how do you look after it? Is there special attention you need to pay to caring for the dental implant and maintaining it?
The answer is -YES!….. A dental implant is NOT a tooth. It needs to be treated with extra diligence and care. The main concern a clinician will have once an implant is successfully placed and resorted, is avoiding peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis is effectively gum disease around a dental implant, the same way you could get gum disease around a natural tooth.
It is imperatively to make sure you brush carefully around the implant twice daily, preferably with an electric tooth brush. I prefer the Oral B electric toothbrushes with a 2min timer, but that's more a personal thing. Some clinicians suggest a good sonic electric toothbrush, such as Philips Sonicare is the best option. Make sure you get the bristles right up around the gum line to remove all bacteria away and minimise the microbial load.
Also, it is very important to floss or use another inter-dental aid, such as TePe brushes, or super floss to get in-between the implant and the neighboring teeth. Remember to bring the floss right up between the gum and the implant and massage the area by moving the floss back and forth a few times to loosen any bacteria. You can also use water jets, such as Waterpix. These are great for flushing out any bugs. I think of them as mini power-hoses for teeth, very handy gadgets- especially it you are not ken of flossing or find it difficult.
Regular hygienist visits:
There is no getting away from it, regular hygienist appointments are crucial to ensure the implant and the rest of your teeth are full debrided and that good oral health is maintained. We suggest about every 3-6months is necessary, depending on your individual needs. Our dental implant surgeons and hygienist will talk to you about this. Our hygienist is very reasonably priced at €60 a session.
Stay off the cigarettes:
If you deiced to take up smoking, or go back on the cigarettes, well obviously this could precipitate peri-implantitis and other gum disease in your mouth. This is because smoking is such a huge, if not the main Risk factor for gum disease.
Eat well and stay in good health. This will help ensure your bone around the implant remains of good volume and healthy.
Follow the advice you have been given:
If our surgeon has advised any other precautionary measures to make sure your dental implant stays in the best of care then follow it. For example, if you have been prescribed a night splint then wear it…..If there is any hint you might be grinding or clenching your teeth at night, or even during the day, these excessive forces can cause early failure of the dental implant.
A dental implant is essentially like a tooth root but made out of titanium, one of the hardest metals, and is placed into the area where the tooth would be.