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How do You Care for Dental Implants?
Dental implants are one of the fastest-growing dental treatments. Approximately 500,000 people each year receive at least one dental implant. While the number of dental implants is increasing, the patient’s understanding of what a dental implant is and how you should care for it remains the same.
If you or somebody you know is about to receive a dental implant, it is important to know how to properly care for that implant. Fortunately, following your dentist’s guidance and that of this guide can help to reduce your stress and help you become one of the millions of people that are happy with their dental implant.
What is an Implant
It is important to understand some basic information about an implant so that you know how your care might differ from other dental work. An implant is a prosthetic tooth that is designed to take the place of a single or even a full arch of teeth. Implants surgically place a post underneath the gum tissue and into the bone. Once the surgical site has healed, a “tooth” is attached to the top of the post. While some of the materials used in implants vary, the care is typically the same.
Caring for the Implant
Because implants are surgically placed into the mouth and then attached, you don’t have to worry about taking the implant out. In fact, the implant won’t come out of your mouth. This varies from many other prosthetic teeth. This means that you don’t have to worry about putting your implant into special denture style cleaners or trays and you don’t have to glue the implant into place every day.
Instead, your daily care should consist of brushing your teeth twice a day, and flossing once daily – just like you normally do. However, you should ensure that you are using a low abrasive or non-abrasive toothpaste. Some specialty cleaners with abrasives can scratch the implant. Once the implant is scratched, it can harbor bacteria and become discolored.
Additionally, you shouldn’t use metal, which can also scratch the implant, when cleaning around the tooth. Some interdental tools have nylon bristles with an inner metalcore. Instead, look for specialty implant friendly interdental cleaners, or just ensure that your choice doesn’t contain any metal.
Dentists also often suggest that patients who have just received an implant invest in an oral irrigator. These irrigators often use pressured streams of water to help remove any debris from around the implant.
Finally, you should make sure to visit your dentist at your regularly scheduled appointments. This means that you should be seeing your dentist every six months. Making sure that you attend your regularly scheduled dental appointments can help spot any signs of trouble with an implant or the surrounding teeth before it becomes a bigger issue. This means that your dentist may be able to help correct the issue without having to completely replace your implant.
Unfortunately, dental implants are not designed to be permanent. With proper care, dental implants can last as long as 20 years. If you begin to notice that the implant becomes loose or painful, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately. If the implant needs to be replaced, it is important to do it as soon as possible. Prompt intervention can help maintain the underlying bone and reduce any potential problems.
Dental implants are the most highly recommended prosthetic tooth replacement by dentists. With the ease of their care being just one of many reasons that dentists and patients prefer dental implants. If you think that you might need a dental implant, call our offices to schedule an appointment today.