Dental implants are one of the most revolutionary treatments in dentistry and have the potential to be life-changing. As a dentist, it’s always incredibly satisfying to see the change dental implants can make to our patients’ day-to-day life. Dental implants can restore your ability to eat the foods you love and allow you to speak with clarity. They can also increase confidence and self-esteem, helping you to fall back in love with your smile. But just like a real tooth, a dental implant warrants TLC and the more care you afford them, the longer they will serve you. Put simply, neglect will cause a dental implant to fail.
Here is our guide for maintaining good oral hygiene with dental implants to make sure they stick with you for as long as possible.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that we gently place beneath the gum. We then create bespoke crowns, bridges or dentures, depending on your individual situation, providing optimal chewing function and attractive aesthetics. Dental implants are often referred to as the ‘gold standard’ of tooth replacement options.
Poor dental care at home, coupled with a lack of routine dental and hygiene appointments, can result in a form of gum disease known as peri-implantitis. This is a destructive inflammatory process that affects the soft and hard tissues surrounding an implant. Left untreated, this can cause bleeding, swelling and a foul taste in the mouth, and can have catastrophic effects on your oral hygiene as well as your dental implant.
Make sure you brush twice a day and clean interdentally at least once a day, this is essential if you want to maintain good oral hygiene with dental implants. If you’re unsure about how long to brush for or need some advice on technique, please don’t hesitate to ask your dentist or hygienist here at our Stourbridge Dental & Implant Clinic.
Avoid grinding and clenching
Excessive biting forces that occur as a result of clenching and grinding your teeth have the potential to destroy your implant as time goes on. If you notice you’ve been grinding and clenching, or we notice tooth wear during your routine appointment, we may recommend a biteguard to protect your implants.
It can sometimes be tricky to know which dental aids to use, especially when there is such a vast range of options in pharmacies and supermarkets. The tools you use are a make or break aspect of your oral hygiene. For example, brushing too hard with a firm, manual toothbrush can lead to gum recession around your natural teeth or can compromise the health of your dental implant, while using fluoride toothpaste can help prevent decay and protect exposed tooth roots.
You should take extra care when cleaning the area where your implant meets your gums and use the correct size TePeTM interdental brush to do this. This allows you to be thorough and remove food particles and plaque. TePeTM brushes are well-designed to clean under dental implant bars and bridges.
TePeBridge & Implant FlossTM is flexible and thick to make cleaning around dental implants easier. It would be best if you aim to use this at least once a day as it will reach areas you can’t clean through brushing alone.
Routine hygienist appointments are paramount in preventing gum disease that can lead to your implant failing, as well as general tooth loss. Hygienists play a significant preventative role in stopping gum disease in its tracks. If you’ve had treatment with dental implants, you should see the hygienist at least twice a year to have a professional clean, known as a scale and polish.
The purpose of this cleaning is to remove tenacious staining and tartar that you can’t remove through brushing. It’s normal to develop some degree of plaque and tartar, even if you’ve got a great brushing and flossing routine. It needs to be removed regularly by a hygienist so that your teeth and implants are at less risk of periodontitis or periimplantitis (gum disease). If you’re in the Stourbridge, Bromsgove or Dudley areas, make sure you book a routine hygienist appointment with us here at Stourbridge Dental & Implant Clinic.
Caring for overdentures
If your dental implants support overdentures, you will need to adopt a strict cleaning routine. The best cleaning practices for overdentures that support dental implants are:
- Clean your dentures over a sink of clean, cool water. Avoid hot water as this can damage your dentures.
- Rinse your dentures thoroughly to ensure you remove all larger food particles
- Apply denture cleaning paste on a moist denture brush and brush all surfaces of your overdentures thoroughly to remove any lingering bacteria. Rinse them under the tap to remove the cleaning paste.
- Leave your dentures overnight to soak in a cleanser. Your dentist here at Stourbridge Dental & Implant Clinic can advise you on the type of cleanser to use.
- Brush your teeth and then re-insert your dentures in the morning.
We can offer single dental implants to replace single or multiple missing teeth as well as implant-retained dentures and bridges. Before beginning any implant procedure, we will take the time to ensure you are comfortable and fully informed about the process. We can offer free consultations to both new and existing patients of our Stourbridge dental practice, during which we can show you examples of previous cases.
We can create beautiful, custom-fitting overdentures for your dental implants. Find out more about implant retained dentures at Stourbridge Dental & Implant Clinic here.
If you would like to book a FREE video consultation with us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly reception team here in the West Midlands.