Maintenance and Care of Dental Implants:
If you want your dental implant(s) to last a long time, there are some simple
oral hygiene rules to follow. Because dental implants function
like natural teeth, they should be cared for the same way you care for your
natural teeth. A regular regimen of brushing, flossing, check ups and
cleanings at your dentist's office are the first steps in caring for your
implants. It is also important to be vigilant of the types of foods that
your eat ... especially foods high in starch and sugar. These foods can
cause a build up of acid laden bacteria which can cause gum disease. Proper
maintenance of dental implants should become an important part of your daily
routine. By developing good oral hygiene habits, you reduce the risk of
having the implants fail. Remember, you have invested time, effort and money
into having the implants placed and restored. To neglect them, may mean
having to have the whole procedure repeated again.
Dental Implant treatments
are carried out daily in thousands of dental offices, with predictable
results; so patients should not view the placing of a dental implant as a
'daunting' process. After implant surgery, most patients are pleasantly
surprised by how 'easy' the whole process was, with little or no discomfort.
While dental implants are strong and can last for many years, they are not
Once the dentist determines that the implant is
firmly in place (Osseointegrated), the abutment and crown will be
attached. You will regain the feeling of having a natural tooth back in
place. Ceramic crowns are very strong these days ... almost as strong as
tooth enamel ... but crowns can chip or break if enough force is applied.
This is also true of dentures, if you have a bar-retained overdenture or
hybrid appliance with a titanium frame. The acrylic denture material can
fracture or break, but this can be easily remedied. You should never use
your teeth as a tool, like a bottle opener, or for crunching hard candy or
ice. Teeth are designed for chewing regular edible foods, and will last you
a very long time if properly taken care of. As we tell our patients ... "if
you think your teeth aren't important, imagine trying to eat without them."
The New Dental Implant:
Dr. Leigh will implant the titanium threaded screw
directly into the bone. Depending on the type of implant treatment, you will
have to go through a healing period (from 2 to 5 months), during which your
jaw bone and gums are allowed to heal and grow around the implant. This
'healing' period (known as "Osseointegration") stabilizes the implant in the
bone, and makes for a stronger foundation for the attachment of the abutment
For information about the dental implant success rate at the Leigh Smile
Center, over the past five years, please contact Debra at
firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be evaluated before your implant is placed, to ensure the best
possible outcome for a successful implant. Your Dentist will set up a
check-up schedule after the implant has been placed, to avoid possible
complications that may arise, and to care for the implant(s).
Caring for Your Implant:
Dr. Leigh and his Staff will provide you with written instructions on how
to take care of your dental implants. Our Dental Hygienists are very
experienced in the care and maintenance of dental implants, and are more
than happy to provide you with the oral hygiene aids used for implant care.
They will provide you with answers to any questions you may have. Below are
some important points to remember:
- 1. Let your Dentist know immediately if you are experiencing any
problems with the new
implant. Don't let a minor problem turn
into a major one.
- 2. Maintain the check-up schedule recommended by your Dentist ...
usually every 6-12 months
for an examination and cleaning. Follow
the instructions that are given after the implants
- 3. Drinking water is good for your general health, and is also a way
to reduce the growth of
bacteria after eating.
- 4. Maintain good oral hygiene practices by brushing and
flossing twice a day, or after eating.
brush in the manner suggested by your Dentist or Dental Hygienist.
too hard, or with a tooth brush that is old or too
stiff, can cause dental problems. In terms
of the bristles, your
tooth brush should always be a "soft" or "gentle" one. Hard or medium
bristle brushes are too abrasive to gums and teeth.
- 5. AVOID SMOKING. Apart from smoking
being a significant health risk, it is one of the major
in the failure of dental implants.
- 6. Try to cut back on foods and drinks that are high in sugar
content. If this is difficult for you,
at least brush after
eating or drinking such foods.
- 7. For removable prosthesis. Take it out of your mouth, and brush
both the inside and outside
of the appliance. Then brush softly
around the gums and the abutments. Finally, use dental
around the implant abutments.
- 8. For a fixed prosthesis (stays in the mouth). Brush and floss as
you would normally do with
your natural teeth, or use a Water Pik
- 9. Consider your implant(s) as an investment in your health and
To learn more about caring for your dental implants,
please contact the Leigh Smile Center today and begin enjoying all the many
advantages of Dental Implant treatments.
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