Dental Implant Hygiene
If you are thinking of having dental implants, then you will already be aware that for many, it’s a life-changing decision.
No other dental procedure offers you the chance to do without removable dentures and return to a permanent, natural-looking smile.
The procedure involves titanium pins being inserted into the jawbone to anchor artificial teeth, much like the root of a real tooth. This is all done under local anaesthetic without any pain to the patient. Dentures are then securely fixed to the implant, giving you a permanent solution to missing teeth – no more dropping your dentures into a glass on the bedside table! Most patients never look back.
Things to watch out for
Your new implant may take a day or so to get used to, because the mouth area is so sensitive to change. But after a week or so, you should be chewing and enjoying food as normal.
Like with any surgical implant, dental implants do not come with a lifetime guarantee but if you take care of them, they should last for many years. You should carefully monitor your implant to check that it is sturdy and not wobbling. Any movement of your implant and you should report to your dentist immediately.
Frequent visits to the dentist are essential to ensure that accurate assessment can be made of the implant and the health of the teeth and jaw. The connective tissue surrounding a dental implant is more vulnerable to infection because there isdecreased blood flow to the area and a lack of true connective attachment. The jaw bone is also more susceptible to weakening and being resorbed by the body. Inflammation of the area accompanied by bone loss is known as peri-implantitis.
Accumulation of plaque will irritate the delicate gum tissue and may lead to gingivitis, characterised by gum swelling, redness, and bleeding. If allowed to continue and worsen, infection will cause the bone anchoring the implant to resorb and the implant will become increasingly exposed.
The good news is that there’s no complex secret: the oral care regime for dental implants is the same as it is for natural teeth. Be sure to brush at least twice a day, focussing on sweeping the gum line clear of debris. An electric toothbrush will offer a more thorough clean.
The only way of removing bacteria and plaque from between teeth effectively is by flossing, which should be done daily. Standard floss is fine, but if you have larger gaps between your teeth and implants then interdental brushes will be more effective. Just be sure to choose a brush on which the metal wire is coated with nylon so that your implant is not scratched, creating environments that will harbour bacteria.
The Smile Centre is an independent, UK based, private cosmetic dentistry practice with over twenty years of experience in the industry. Our skilful team provide a range of services, including dental implants, personalised partial and complete dentures, denture implants, cosmetic dentistry and non-invasive cosmetic treatments.
Topics: Tags: accurate assessment, artificial teeth, bacteria, bedside table, bleeding, blood flow, bone loss, chewing, connective tissue, cosmetic