Dental Implant Maintenance: Caring for Your New Smile
Dental implants are widely regarded as the best teeth replacement option available. In fact, with proper care, they can last a lifetime. Dental implant maintenance is not dramatically different from caring for natural teeth. In fact, it is largely a matter of practicing standard oral hygiene and attending your six-month checkups. Dr. Eugene D. Stanislaus, Dr. Lisa Reid, and the staff at Brooklyn Heights Dental® care about your oral health and the longevity of your dental implants. Our Brooklyn, NY, team will teach you how to properly maintain your new smile so you can experience many years of benefits.
Why Maintenance Matters
Implants themselves are not vulnerable to decay. However, gum disease and other complications can affect the tissues that support your implants and eventually lead to implant failure. Gingivitis affecting the tissue around an implant is called peri-implant mucositis. As the condition progresses and begins to affect the underlying bone, it is called peri-implantitis.
Although your implants and restorations do not consist of living tissue, they rely on the health of your gums and jawbone, just like natural teeth. Taking simple measures each day to remove and prevent plaque can maintain your gums and jaws and help you experience decades of healthy, beautiful smiles.
What to Avoid
In addition to practicing proper oral hygiene, it is important that patients avoid using their new implant-supported restorations as tools. For example, implant restorations should never be used to open packages. Patients who habitually chew on pens, pencils, ice, or their nails should find ways to curb these habits, which can place undue stress on dental implants and adjoining restorations.
Patients who use tobacco are at a much higher risk for implant failure. You must quit all tobacco use before you undergo your implant surgery, and you should plan to drop the habit permanently. Nicotine can restrict blood flow and impede the body’s natural healing processes. Even if your implants have fully integrated with your smile, nicotine can increase your risk of gum disease and, in turn, your risk of implant failure.
How to Maintain Your Dental Implants
In order to properly care for your dental implants, you should attend all regular dental examinations and cleanings. During these appointments, your doctor will assess the implant posts and make sure there are no signs of complications. Your hygienist will also gently remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria to ensure that the foundation of your smile remains healthy.
Professional dental care is essential to the longevity of your implants. Caring for your smile between visits is just as important. Brush a minimum of twice a day using fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Floss at least once every day. Brushing and flossing help remove biofilm and reduce the harmful effects of oral bacteria. Our hygienist will work with you to develop a treatment plan to keep your smile as clean and healthy as possible between checkups.
Book a Consultation
If you have questions about dental implant maintenance, or if you would like to learn more about dental implants in general, schedule a consultation with one of our doctors. You can contact us online anytime, or give us a call at (718) 857-6639.