Implant Maintenance

The daily care of dental implants is very similar to the care of natural teeth. Restored dental implants should be kept clean and plaque free twice a day using a brush, interdental brushes and floss. Cleaning is especially important after meals. This is accomplished by gently brushing, giving special attention to all sides of the implant.

Oral hygiene aids may include:

  • Small, soft, manual toothbrush or an electric brush
  • Low-abrasive, tartar-control toothpaste
  • Dental floss for cleaning around the abutments
  • Inter-dental brushes or other aids for removing plaque between the teeth on either side of the implant(s)

Other supplies that may be recommended can include:

  • Antimicrobial mouth rinses
  • Disclosing tablets to stain the locations of plaque accumulation

You must be committed not only to daily performance of dental hygiene at home, but to regular visits to your hygienist. It is recommended that you see your hygienist every 3 months for a professional check and cleaning.

What can happen if I don’t take care of my dental implants?

Implants can develop problems without consistent daily care. The earliest sign of a problem begins with the observation of bleeding. This is known as Peri-mucositis. The current scientific evidence suggests that this may be successfully treated and is reversible if caught early. Unfortunately if it progresses to bone loss, also known as Peri-implantitis, the bone loss is not reversible. If Peri-implantitis is not treated it can lead to advanced bone loss and the removal of the implant.

Note the loss of gum


Note the loss of bone below the line

For an accurate assessment of implant health dentists and hygienists need to probe and measure the gums around the implant the same way as around teeth, check and compare x-rays, look for looseness, bleeding and inflammation, check the bite and check all of the components that are attached to the implants to make sure that they are functioning properly.

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