You may already know good oral health is important for good overall health – and the ‘health’ of your dental implants. Although your implants will not decay like natural teeth, they still require regular cleaning and care. Bacteria can gather around and between your teeth, which can lead to gum inflammation. Left unaddressed, persistent gum inflammation can develop into periodontal disease. This can cause problems with your overall dental health and your dental implants.
Aside from brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash, what kind of long-term care do dental implants require?
Regular implant checkups
Scheduling regular checkups ensures you and Dr. Mike can be aware of any potential issues. For the first few months after implant placement, Dr. Mike will ask to see you more frequently to monitor your healing & recovery.
The overall dental implant process, from the initial assessment through recovery, can take several months. If a bone graft was performed, the overall time frame is longer, sometimes up to a year. You will be able to return to twice-yearly check-ups when Dr. Mike determines you have sufficiently healed
Do I need to schedule regular cleanings?
Even if you no longer have natural teeth, it is important to schedule regular dental cleanings. Our dental hygienist will make sure your gum tissue remains healthy and implants look great!
During the cleaning process, Dr. Mike or your hygienist will examine for signs of peri-implant mucositis or peri-implantitis, which are two implant-related gum diseases. When cleaning implants, we use special tools and take added precautions to avoid potential damage and to ensure maximum cleanliness.
Signs of infection
It is also important to monitor your own oral health. If you see any signs of infection, schedule an appointment at Cleveland Implant Institute as soon as possible. Bleeding gums, swollen tissue and discomfort may indicate gum disease or infection.
When the tissue around your implants is infected, it needs to be addressed immediately. Waiting too long can result in bone and implant loss.
At-home implant hygiene tips
Your oral hygiene routine with implants, will not differ from taking care of natural teeth. You should brush at least twice daily, making sure to brush your gums and tongue as well. Floss at least once per day. Some implant patients find that water flossers work well. Finally, rinse your mouth with a dentist-approved mouthwash to eliminate harmful bacteria.
If your implants are detachable, follow Dr. Mike’s care instructions. Some implants can be removed—and must be cleaned twice per day.
Your oral hygiene routine may vary, depending on your health concerns and type of implants. The Cleveland Implant Institute dental team will help you understand how to properly care for your implants. Call us today to learn more about our dental implant services, or to schedule an appointment.