Caring for Dental Implants
Implants restore normal chewing ability despite tooth loss. Implant-supported dentures are not only firmly anchored but also result in aesthetic and long-lasting restorations. Whether you benefit from your dental implants for a lifetime, however, also depends on you – only through thorough care will your implants remain intact.
Why is caring for your implants important?
Your newly fitted dental implants (like our new All-on-4 dental implants) offer you both the oral functionality and the aesthetic results you have been looking for since you experienced the loss of your natural teeth. These benefits are ones you can cherish by committing to creating an optimum oral hygiene routine of implant care to enable you to clean and maintain them now that they represent an integral part of your new and improved level of personal comfort and confidence – evident in all aspects of your daily life.
You need to protect your replacement teeth from the build-up of bacteria creating plaque which leads to tooth decay and gum disease (periodontitis) in the same way as you do your remaining natural teeth but there is a new priority now – it is to safeguard the stability of your implant now anchored into your jaw.
By creating an effective care and maintenance regime you prevent both gum and bone inflammation which could un-seat your implant. By caring for your replacement teeth, you can continue to enjoy all the oral health advantages now apparent since recovery from your successful surgical procedure at Wimpole Street Dental Clinic, here in central London. As fitted implants rely so heavily on the maintenance of good gums and jaws for their stability, we recommend that you take extra care to prevent the possibility of oral infection as you heal, post-surgery.
Best practice tips and advice for caring for your implant
- The very best tool you have to hand is your consistent commitment to devote two to three minutes twice daily to your oral hygiene routine so you can care for your dental implants effectively at home.
- Invest in a good electric toothbrush as its fast brush rotation and low-pressure application cleans both your restoration and your own teeth well at the same time.
- Take time to consider choosing a toothpaste which is a gel without overly abrasive particles contained within it, so as not to compromise the condition and volume of your gums around the implants which need more care in their new supporting role alongside your jaws.
- Remember to floss so as to remove any bacteria from the interdental area but note that for implants there are special products to use: “superfloss” is a product comprising a stiffened end and a fluffier middle part to ensure you deliver more thorough cleaning of your artificial tooth now in place. If you have larger spaces to consider or larger dental prosthetics to maintain, select interdental brushes for flossing purposes but pick ones made without metal so as to safeguard your dental implant materials. Your gumline is your last line of defence against the onset of gum disease which could de-stabilise your replacement tooth/teeth over time.
- At all times, do not exert excessive force when you clean your dental restorations which sit on top of your implant, so that you protect them from the potential risk of chips and/or cracks
A few days after your treatment, once you are satisfied with your restoration now in place, we will offer you all the aftercare tips you need for your individual case relating to your teeth, gums and jaws.
We will also recommend that you schedule your regular dental and dental hygiene appointments with us. At your check-ups, your dentist be best placed to monitor the ongoing condition of your implants and your overall oral health and can advise immediately should you need to book in for a professional implant cleaning procedure, with a member of our team.
Habits to avoid if possible when caring for your dental implants
Our dentists advise every patient that a lack of consistent care is a key mistake not to make when caring for your implants not only post-surgery, but also for later stages. From day one it is preferable to protect them against the build-up of bacterial deposits and plaque, together with conducting daily personal observations on the condition and colour of your gums and so monitor and manage any bleeding from them, should it occur.
We would also recommend that any patient that smokes consider stopping as it can adversely affect both the level of oral function and the standard of aesthetic results you now enjoy from having an implant fitted. Smoking is a habit which means maintaining a good standard or general health becomes more of a challenge and when it comes to your oral health it can cause tooth and crown discolouration and can also contribute to the development of gum disease, displacing your precious dental implants over time.
Think about your implants every time you eat and so try to be mindful of the foods you choose – if you can. Hard, crunchy, sticky or chewy culinary options can cause chips or cracks and may also – in very rare cases – act to dislodge or even loosen the dental restoration or the dental implant itself.
Other lifestyle habits to re-consider could include taking extra care when participating in contact sports (if you do so), by incorporating a mouthguard into your equipment bag to protect against the risk of potential injury to your mouth during the game. If you are a person who grinds their teeth regularly then you may also need to consider the use of a nightguard to again protect your new dental implants from damage which may occur during the night, and over time.
Dental implants and associated restorations are simply artificial teeth (e.g. porcelain crowns) placed on titanium roots precisely placed into the jawbone under sterile conditions and using local anaesthetic. They are produced using our state-of-the-art technology to deliver a perfect match to the look and feel of your natural teeth. One way to care for them is to perhaps alter your mindset to them, post-implant surgery. Welcome your dental implants as dental care tools bringing you the oral comfort and confidence you seek and so treat them as a permanent feature rather than a temporary guest in your daily life. By caring for your implants consistently and with the utmost care as soon as they are fitted, you are placing yourself in the best position to enjoy the longevity and durability of their use and the highest standard of excellent aesthetic results our team have taken the professional time and resource to perfect.
Are you considering dental implants as the next step in improving your oral health?
Our smile is one of the key ways we can communicate effortlessly without saying a word indicating just how well we look and feel. Our smile is a body language sign conveying a message of natural confidence which can impress and engage others in our personal and professional lives.
You may need to consider dental implants if you have a gap in your smile impacting on both your personal comfort and confidence for reasons both practical and aesthetic leading you to think about the options available to you to replace your missing teeth.
- Dental implants are normally a procedure for adults with a fully formed jaw who may have one or more missing teeth, several teeth or even missing all teeth.
- Dental patients in good general and oral health without presenting with extensive tooth decay or gum disease, who are not taking immunosuppressant or any bone metabolism altering medications, who are not regularly clenching or grinding teeth and refraining from smoking more than five cigarettes daily are considered at consultation.
- Each case presents differently so trust your dentist here at Wimpole Street Dental Clinic to be in the best position to advise if dental implants are suitable for you, on this occasion.
- Both your oral hygiene regime and your considered approach to every aspect of your lifestyle are critical factors influencing how long your dental implants will last and how much time, money and effort you could save if you don’t need them to be replaced sooner than their average long lifespan would ordinarily suggest. A set of simple oral hygiene steps, naturally and quickly included into your everyday routine, can actually make all the difference.
The use of dental implants is a specialist field of dentistry called Implantology and forms one of the dental restoration options available to you within Prosthodontics. This level of expertise is one where you need to consult the skills of a certified master of their profession. At Wimpole Street Dental Clinic, we have a highly experienced and trained team of dentists including Professor Christian Mehl, a specialist prosthodontist certified by the German Society of Prosthodontics (DGPro) and the General Dental Council (GDC). Your dental implants need to last as long as possible so that they can readily offer you the benefits we have already described to both your oral function and your aesthetic appearance.
Before you proceed, think about how you will commit to caring for your dental implants as they will represent both a significant surgical procedure for you to undertake and a considerable financial investment for you to make in your oral and general health, now and into the future.