Dental Implants Maintenance: Before and After Care

The first recorded use of dental implants goes all the way back to the 600 AD and the ancient Mayan civilization.  Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then in improving the quality of life of those who have lost teeth.  Missing teeth can negatively affect your life, but If you are about to get dental implants you might be rightly concerned about what you need to do to maintain your teeth and implants.  Good oral hygiene might be more important than ever so that you can ensure the health of your implants. Caring for implants differs from caring for natural teeth for two reasons.  The first is that each implant attaches to surrounding bone and gums in a very different way, and secondly, the materials from which implants are made are different from natural teeth and need to be cared for accordingly. Your dentist or hygienists will be able to address these concerns with you and help you come up with your own individualized home-care routine.  It’s important to follow your plan before (in preparing your mouth and gums for the implant), as well as post-surgery.  Be sure you feel comfortable and confident with your plan and ask questions.

What are Dentures and Overdentures?

People with missing teeth can choose to have a dental implant (a small titanium anchor) permanently placed into their upper and/or lower jaw.  Over time, the implant integrates with the bone and acts very much like your natural tooth.  When some or all of a person’s teeth are missing, the treatment option is called overdentures.   Having a proper overdenture treatment will not only look better by retaining your facial features and structure, but it will also improve digestion and can even slow down bone loss in your jaw.

Infection is Public Enemy Number 1

Just like with natural teeth, you have to take care of your implants daily and fight against plaque.  Removing this plaque with daily cleaning will ward of infection, and help keep you and your mouth healthy.  In order to mitigate dental implant risk, it’s important that your gums have firm pink tissue.  Having a strong seal between the implant and the tissue is paramount to the health of your implant and keeps harmful bacteria out.

Choosing The Right Products for Your Dental Implants

In order to protect your investment, it’s important to choose the right products.  Whether you choose toothpaste or gel, be sure to choose a low abrasive formula. Avoid dentifrice with stannous fluoride, sodium fluoride, baking soda, stain removers and smoker’s toothpaste.  Colgate, Procter and Gamble and Rowpar among others have good options for dental implant patients.  It’s also important your products not irritate the seal.  Avoid products with greater than 3.0 sodium fluoride content and low PH, as this can make your implants lose resistance to corrosion, and thereby becoming susceptible to infection.

Brushing and Flossing Your Implants

Continue to brush and floss your teeth twice a day.  Whatever your preference of toothbrush, either sonic, electric or manual toothbrush is fine, just ensure that the bristles are soft and that you have the manual dexterity to reach in those hard-to-reach places.   When choosing the right floss, it is highly recommended to use un-waxed tape or implant specific floss in order to protect the tissue surrounding the implant.  Your hygienist can help show you the techniques for proper flossing.

East Valley Dental Professionals Can Help!

Please note that East Valley Dental Professionals does not perform dental implant procedures–we do dental implant reconstruction. This information has been provided for educational purposes only. You are more than welcome to contact us to set up an appointment to discuss which approach is right for you.