Oral hygiene aids may include:
- Small, Soft, Manual Toothbrush or an Electric Brush: A small, soft-bristled toothbrush can navigate the contours of dental implants and adjacent natural teeth effectively, allowing for gentle yet thorough cleaning. An electric toothbrush can offer additional benefits, such as consistent motion and pressure, making it easier to clean around implants efficiently.
- Low-Abrasive, Tartar-Control Toothpaste: Toothpaste formulated to be low in abrasiveness helps protect the surface of the implants and the crown material from being scratched or damaged while controlling tartar build-up, which can lead to gum disease.
- Dental Floss for Cleaning Around the Abutments: Specialized dental floss or floss designed for use with dental implants is essential for removing plaque and food particles from around the abutments and under the gumline, areas that are particularly susceptible to infection if not properly maintained.
Other supplies that may be recommended by the doctor can include:
- Antimicrobial Mouth Rinses: These rinses can help reduce the bacterial load in the mouth, decreasing the risk of infection around the implant sites. They are especially beneficial in the initial healing period after implant placement and for patients with a higher risk of gum disease.
- Inter-Dental Brushes or Other Aids for Removing Plaque: Inter-dental brushes are designed to clean between teeth and around implants where a regular toothbrush might not reach. These aids are essential for disrupting and removing plaque, a key factor in preventing peri-implant diseases.
- Disclosing Tablets: These tablets temporarily stain plaque, making it visible and thereby easier to target during cleaning. Disclosing tablets are an excellent tool for educating patients about areas they may consistently miss during their oral hygiene routine.
You must be committed not only to daily performance of dental hygiene at home, but to regular visits to your dentist. It is recommended that you see your dentist every 3 to 6 months for a professional exam and cleaning. The dental implants should be examined with an x-ray annually. We offer you a no cost, annual implant check-up and x-ray for the first three years after your dental implant placement as part of our care program.
What can happen if I don’t take care of my dental implants?
Implants can develop problems without consistent daily care. The earliest sign of a problem begins with the observation of bleeding. This is known as mucositis. The current scientific evidence suggests that this may be successfully treated and is reversible if caught early. Unfortunately if it progresses to bone loss, also known as peri-implantitis, the bone loss is not reversible. If peri-implantitis is not treated it can lead to advanced bone loss and the removal of the implant.
Note the loss of gum
Note the loss of bone below the line
What should my dentist check for at every cleaning visit?
For an accurate assessment of implant health dentists and hygienists need to probe and measure the gums around the implant the same was as around teeth, check and compare x-rays annually, look for looseness, check the bite and check all of the components that are attached to the implants to make sure that they are functioning properly.