Do dental implants require special care?

Older Woman Brushing TeethThe dental implant is quite a convenient solution for tooth loss. It looks and feels just like a natural tooth, and keeping the area around the implant clean and healthy tends to be straightforward, as well.

In most cases, dental implants require no additional care above and beyond the same good oral hygiene habits that protect biological teeth.

When an oral surgeon places a dental implant as a stand-in for a lone absent tooth, the home oral hygiene routine is almost identical to that used on the natural teeth. The brushing and flossing techniques are quite similar.

Professional cleanings may need to be altered slightly to accommodate dental implants, though. Be sure to notify your dental hygienist of the location of your dental implant in case he or she needs to use any special instruments in cleaning your teeth.

With implant-supported bridges and dentures, the patient might use a slightly different technique for cleaning the bridge or denture and the gumline underneath. If the bridge or denture can be removed, you must be sure to clean thoroughly around the implant abutments, as well as the rest of the gumline. Your oral surgeon will give you more detailed instructions on how to keep your mouth clean with implant-supported appliances, whether they are removable or fixed.

It’s also important to remember that if a subpar oral hygiene regimen contributed to your tooth loss initially, those same bad habits could also compromise the stability of your dental implant. Be sure that you are brushing and flossing properly and for long enough amounts of time to reduce your risk of oral diseases that could lead to bone loss and, ultimately, implant failure.

Prosthetic teeth can be damaged in the same way that biological teeth can, so don’t try to do anything with an implant that you shouldn’t do with a natural tooth, like chew on hard, non-food items, for example.

When you take good care of your dental implants, the devices can last for decades. Most patients will need to make only minimal adjustments (if any) to their regular oral hygiene routines. Be sure to discuss this aspect of dental implants with your surgeon in advance so that you are prepared to maintain the devices. Our staff can help you prepare a plan for maintaining the implants.