Clean & Maintain Dental Implants

Caring for your dental implant is much the same as caring for your remaining natural teeth, but it does take a little extra care. Dental implants are one of the best ways to restore one or more missing teeth and can be used to support a single crown, a multiple tooth bridge, or a full denture on one or both arches.

A dental implant is a titanium or zirconia post that essentially acts as the root of a tooth onto which a dental prosthesis is placed. In order for an implant to be successful, it is vital to keep your teeth, guns, and bone tissue healthy. Let’s look at some of the ways you can clean and maintain your dental implant so you are able to get the most out of your investment into your smile.

Preventing Infection In Your Implant

Patients that need to have a tooth replaced have often had issues with periodontal disease that has caused them to experience gum recession and bone loss. Healthy bone structure and gum tissue is how dental implants are supported so it is vital to the health of not only remaining teeth but also to your new dental implant that you improve hygiene and maintain proper oral care. Without daily removal of plaque buildup, plaque and bacteria collect on implant crowns, natural teeth, and in the gum pockets. This plaque can be removed by simply brushing twice a day with a soft bristle toothbrush and flossing at least once a day.

Without regular removal, plaque buildup can lead to an infection called peri-implantitis which is inflammation in the tissue around the implant and can quickly lead to bone loss, eventually progressing to the point of implant failure.

In fact, implant patients can benefit from more frequent professional dental cleanings than the standard twice a year. Implant patients may find that their implant specialist will want to see them once a year for implant recall, and possibly twice-a-year for cleanings their office in conjunction with twice-a-year cleanings at your general dental office. Four cleanings per year may sound like a lot but in the grand scheme of things, keeping your mouth and implants healthy can save you time and money going forward.

Your dental hygienist will play a key role in helping you keep your implants infection free! During your dental cleanings, your dental hygienist will use special instruments specifically made for cleaning dental implants to prevent damage to the crown, abutment, or the implant itself. Along with manual instruments, they may use an ultrasonic instrument with a nylon or plastic sheath to minimize damage to your implant. Ultrasonic instruments clean your teeth by using frequency vibrations and water which is necessary if large amounts of plaque have accumulated.

In the event that you do develop an infection at your implant, you may notice gum recession or bone loss and a portion of the implant may be visible. The exterior surface of the implant itself is typically rough to encourage osseointegration which can make the implant difficult to clean properly. Brushes can be used to clean biofilm (bacteria and plaque) from exposed implants but sometimes, plaque hardens into tartar and requires the use of other instruments to remove the contaminants.

Dental implants have a very high success rate, between 95% and 97%. The key to keeping your implant in place is to prevent peri-implantitis with more frequent professional cleanings and good home care. Your dental hygienist and dentist can both assist you as you learn to care for your dental implant.

Permanent Dentures

Scroll to Top