Taking Care of Your Dental Implant
At Dallas Oral Surgery Associates, we perform hundreds of dental implant procedures every year. Dental implants have become the most standard tooth replacement procedure in the United States, and the number of patients receiving dental implants grows every year. Today, over 3 million Americans have had dental implant surgery to replace one or more missing teeth.
If you are interested in receiving a dental implant, you will be happy to hear that caring for your implants is as easy as taking care of natural teeth. Though the aftercare process may be more involved, caring for a fully-healed dental implant is no different from your standard oral hygiene habits.
While dental implants can’t get cavities, they are still susceptible to complications if not properly cared for. Once bacteria in the mouth becomes plaque, it can gather along the gumline and around the dental implant, causing disease and decay in the gum tissue. This may ultimately lead to bleeding along the gums, or gingivitis. If untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, a gum infection that can result in bone loss. This bone loss may necessitate the removal of the dental implant.
How do you care for your dental implants and prevent complications? Fortunately, caring for dental implants is almost identical to most normal oral hygiene routines: simply brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss daily. Be gentle on your implants, as being too abrasive can cause damage. Toothpaste is naturally abrasive, so we recommend using a low-abrasive, tartar-control toothpaste to maintain both the natural teeth and the dental implant. You may also consider using dental floss that is designed specifically for dental implants. Using mouthwash is also an effective addition to remove any remaining food and bacteria.
The majority of dental implants are made of titanium. This material is strong and durable, but it is not indestructible. After spending a good amount of time, effort, and money receiving the implants, be sure to take good care of them. The only intended purpose of dental implants is for chewing food. They are not designed for biting other material and can easily be damaged when doing so.
During your consultation, you will also be advised to avoid smoking and avoid tobacco products in general. Tobacco can easily stain the teeth and make you more susceptible to gum disease—on top of other associated health risks.
After receiving the implant, we advise scheduling periodic appointments with our office to examine the health of the dental implant, assess the risk or possibility of any complications, and address any ongoing concerns. You should continue to visit your dentist for routine checkups and cleanings twice a year even with a dental implant.
After thousands of dental implant consultations and procedures, our team of doctors and nurses are more than familiar with addressing patient questions and concerns. If you need more information on how to care for your implants, have concerns about the health of your implant, or are struggling to adjust to caring for a new implant, give our office a call at 214-363-9946.