Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Do dental implants require maintenance?

A dental implant is a surgical component, usually made of titanium, that connects the bone of the jaw with the artificial teeth or crown that replaces the lost natural teeth. 

The dental implants are of 3 parts; the titanium implant, the artificial teeth that go on top of the implant and natural jaw bone into which both are implanted. 

Titanium is one of the strongest and durable materials known to humans and would require the least or no maintenance at all. It is the other two and surrounding areas that could require regular maintenance. This can be:

Professional Maintenance:

The professional checkup should be done periodically (once in 6 months) to prevent a buildup of plaque and/or infection-causing bacteria in and around the threads of the implant and the surrounding gum tissue. If required, regular scaling for natural teeth and special method cleaning with plastic scaler tips/special scaler tips for implant area using sonic or ultrasonic techniques, the dentist cleans the surface of the teeth and the gumline. Alignment and implant condition is also checked. 

Personnel / @Home Maintenance:

Treat your implants as you would your natural teeth. Brush, floss and use a non-alcoholic mouthwash regularly. 

Manual, sonic or electric brushes? Though sonic or electric brushes are more consistent in their action, it does not matter what you choose. What is important is how it feels to use, how easy it is to use and it must be soft bristled. And, you must brush daily without fail.

This is a physical process where a thin thread is used to remove food and plaque from between teeth in places where brushes cannot reach. This is not something that is popular in India.

Water Flossing / Oral Irrigation and Mouthwash: 
Here pulses of high-pressure water are used to remove plaque and food particles. Followed by a rinse of antimicrobial nonalcoholic mouthwash. 

Implant Care and Maintenance:

Improper cleaning and maintenance can cause bleeding around the implant leading to infection, bone loss, requiring removal of the implant and even bone graft. Immediately after the procedure, do exactly as the dentist instructs. Brush, floss, rinse should become second nature. Change your diet to include non-acidic, softer food and nutrient-rich drinks. Schedule dental checkups every six months or less.

So, Yes! The implants do require care and maintenance. Maybe, just a little more than your normal teeth.

Blog reviewed By: Dr. Sudhakara Reddy
Mail us: drsudhakarareddy@gmail.com

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