Dental Implant Maintenance
How Should I Take Care of My Dental Implant?
While dental implants are not prone to periodontitis, they are vulnerable to a dangerous condition called peri-implantitis. While periodontitis is an inflammatory condition of the gums that attack the tooth and the tooth root, peri-implantitis is a similar condition that attacks your implant. Unlike periodontitis, which can lead to gradual bone loss, peri-implantitis is fast moving and can cause permanent damage in a fraction of the time. If left untreated, you may be a risk of implant failure and losing your implant.
Just like you would take care of your regular teeth, you do still need to take care of your dental implant. You need to make sure to brush your teeth twice a day, including your implant, for two minutes each time. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush at a 45-degree angle to your gum line to help remove all plaque buildup. Your crown and your abutment are vulnerable to erosion and scratches, so preventing bacteria a chance to get into them is critical. Never use metal dental tools on or around your implant.
You also still need to floss around your implant as you would your regular teeth. Make sure you work a fresh section of floss up under your gum line to ensure you remove all bacteria that was missed by your toothbrush. Feel free to follow up with an antibacterial mouthwash, but do know that using mouthwash alone is not a replacement for a good oral hygiene regimen.
Preventing infection is vital to preserving your implant. While we normally advise our patients to return to our office every six months for a checkup and cleaning, we do suggest that our patients who have had implants come in more frequently. Every three months is better, giving us a chance to monitor your oral health and the welfare of your implant. If we do notice any infection, we will act quickly to help prevent it from progressing and to prevent the loss of our implant. If necessary, we may have to do a scaling and root planing to help keep your tooth.
If you have a dental implant, you must take extra care of it. Getting an implant does not mean that you can suddenly start to neglect your mouth. If anything, you need to be more vigilant, as your risk of implant failure is increased if you develop a gum infection. If you have a dental implant, or you’re interested in learning more about them, please give us here at Legato Dental Centre a call at (250) 860-5253 today. We are happy to answer any of your questions or help you schedule an appointment at our office!