Caring for your Dental Implants
Dental implants may be a more modern solution for replacing missing teeth, but they have quickly the most popular treatment available. They are a unique treatment, providing you with several significant benefits over bridges and dentures. Treatment involves the use of small titanium posts to provide support for dental restorations. The posts are surgically placed into your jawbone. Over the course of your recovery, which could last several weeks to several months, your bone naturally fuses to these posts. Once you have fully healed, your dental restorations can be held securely in place on these posts, which have essentially become replacement roots. While implants are easier to care for than dentures, they still require regular care. Lehigh Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is here to help.
Why Do I Need to Care for My Implants?
Your dental restorations are made from ceramic. While this material cannot decay or develop cavities, it can still collect plaque and bacteria. Ceramic can also be damaged as a result of facial trauma or biting on something too hard. If plaque and bacteria are left to accumulate on your dental restorations, they can cause irritation and inflammation of the gum tissues. Inflamed gum tissue pulls away from your teeth and restorations, leading to the formation of pockets. Bacteria collect in these pockets and begin attacking your jawbone. The bone begins to weaken and lose mass. This compromises your implant posts, just as it compromises the stability of your natural teeth. Without proper treatment, the implant posts could become loose and your dental restorations unstable, which can then lead to implant failure.
Caring for Dental Implants at Home
Just like with your natural teeth, care for your dental implants takes place mainly at home. One of the major benefits of dental implants is that they can be brushed and flossed just like your natural teeth. It is important to continue brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. When you brush, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste. Brush for two full minutes and be sure to go over all surfaces of your teeth. When you floss, work the floss back and forth gently to get the floss between your teeth. Scrape up and down the sides of each of your teeth and do not forget to floss behind your back teeth. Avoid biting and chewing on anything hard and wear a mouth guard if you play sports.
The Importance of Professional Care
In addition to your daily care at home, you should still have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined every six months, even if all of your teeth have been replaced with implants. Cleanings help you to prevent gum disease and other oral health issues by eliminating buildup from all surfaces of your teeth. Exams allow us to detect problems with both your natural teeth and your dental restorations, which enables us to take action right away to prevent serious issues complications from arising. In conjunction with your home care routine, professional care can help you to maintain your oral health and the success of your dental implants.
Taking good care of your dental implants ensures that they remain healthy and functional for many years to come. If you have any questions or concerns about the care of your dental implants, call Lehigh Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery today at (610) 435-6161.