Dental implants have helped thousands of people improve the quality of their lives. Treatment with dental implants require time and money though. How are you going to make sure that your implants will last a lifetime?
The quick answer is, by taking good care of them and by visiting your dentist regularly. Let me explain myself more.
Dental implants do not have the common tooth structure. They don't have enamel and dentin that warn us if they are threatend by decay. Dental implants do not get decay. The problem they are more possible to encounter is called peri-implantitis and is a disease that results in bone loss, implant mobility and finally the loss of your implant.
To avoid peri-implantitis you have to clean your implants and the rest of your teeth twice daily. First time after your breakfast and the second one before you go to sleep.
You should brush your dental implants the same way as you brush your own teeth. With a soft brush you need to be very thorough making sure you are cleaning the area between the implant tooth and the gum.
Since this area is very small you can help yourself by bying a special brush that has only two lines of bristles so that you can control it better. If you cannot find a brush like that, go ahead and remove some bristles from a regular brush, leaving only two lines of bristles, so you can clean easier this significant area.
It is extremelly important to take care of all sides of an implant. Accessing the lingual side may be difficult, so you'd better use a brush with an angle of its neck. If you want you can make a straight brush angled, by warming the area between the head of the brush and the handle. As soon as it is slightly warm, bend the brush and you are good to go.
Last but not least do not forget to use a dental floss to clean the area between the implant and its neighbouring teeth. If you have only one implant you can do the cleaning with a regular waxed dental floss but if you have several, you might find more effective to use a floss like the one shown in the picture to your left, that has a spongy part and can be very useful. Check here the right way to use it.
Extremelly useful are the interdental brushes too. There are plenty of sizes to choose from. Choose the one that is getting between your teeth with a slight pressure but without major resistance.
Dental implants can replace your own teeth but they are not the same as them. They do not warn you with small signs like teeth do. This is why you need to visit your dentist twice a year to make sure that everything is ok.
Dentists have special instruments that clean the implant surface without destroying the surface of the implant. Sometimes we may even take the prosthesis out for a better cleaning of your implants.
Once a year we also take a small xray to make sure that the bone surrounding your implant is stable . If we check the area often, we are able to find a peri-implantitis at an early stage making its prognosis even better.
If you feel any type of micromotion on your implant prostheis, make sure you pay a visit to your dentist as soon as possible. This may be easily fixed, but if left untreated may result to a local tisue inflamation.
With these simple actions your dental implants can a last you a lifetime. Take good care of them and they will take good care of you too.
Domna Evangelidou, DDS