Care of Your Implants
A successful implant should feel solid in the bone, be free from pain, and the gum tissues around the implant should look healthy and pink. It is true that an implant will never have a cavity, but it can certainly get gum disease.
For this reason, you must be diligent in caring for your implant every day.
- Brushing and flossing to remove dental plaque are still as important as ever. You may use the same soft brush and the same toothpaste that are used on natural teeth. Ask your dentist or hygienist to demonstrate the proper way to brush and floss.
- Daily use of an anti-bacterial mouth rinse has been shown to improve the lifetime of dental implants.
You will also need to continue regular check-ups. This actually becomes more important for patients with implants than for patients without implants. Implants can, and do, fail. If they begin to fail, there are often no symptoms until it is too late to act effectively. For that reason, early detection of clinical failure is extremely important.
- The main sign of early failure is loss of bone surrounding the implant, and that can only be detected by making an x-ray.
- Dental implants should be x-rayed every 6 months for the first 2 years, and then every 3 years after that.
- At your check-up, your dentist will examine the implant to determine if the gums are healthy and if there are any signs of bone loss.
- Your implants should also be cleaned every 6 months. Implants are easily scratched, which can affect their health; so, special instruments will be used at your appointment.
- Removable appliances have rubber or plastic attachment parts which will wear out. The lifespan of these wearable parts is usually 6 months.
By now you have probably concluded that it will be important for you to make sure to schedule a check-up every six months, just like with your natural teeth.