Although dental implants can last for decades—even a lifetime—they need to be properly maintained to ensure longevity. All dental implant patients in our office are instructed in implant maintenance, which is divided into two parts: professional care in our office and proper home care. Each is explained below.
Just like teeth, the gums around your implants should not bleed! At each implant maintenance visit, the dental hygienist examines the area around the dental implant for inflammation, bleeding, changes in probing depths and implant stability to ensure that the implant is not becoming loose. Depending on the type of dental implant treatment and prosthesis used, the periodontist may at certain times remove and clean the prosthesis and reattach it. The dental hygienist also uses x-rays to monitor any changes in bone levels, which are evaluated by the periodontist. The doctor also reviews the patient’s medical and dental history, including medications, to determine if there are any health factors that may adversely affect previously completed dental implant treatment.
Other procedures performed during this hour-long visit include thorough debridement, often using instruments specially designed for implant maintenance. Often your bite (and bite guard if you have one) are assessed and adjusted. Finally, we fine-tune your personal oral hygiene techniques to help you become more effective between professional visits.
This professional assessment is a very important part of your implant maintenance so be sure to maintain a regular appointment schedule with our practice. Schedule your next appointment.
Even the best professional care occurs only at intervals. There is no substitute for conscientious and effective home care. Dental implant patients are provided with detailed instructions by our registered dental hygienists regarding the daily protocols that are to be followed. Just a few minutes a day of proper home care can greatly extend the life of dental implants and help avoid complications. We often recommend powered toothbrushes, oral irrigators, special brushes and other oral hygiene aids. Sometimes we also add special mouth rinses to improve results. We take the time to optimize your efforts so you can maintain your teeth and implants for a lifetime.