Caring for your dental implants in Port Moody is simple and straightforward. It’s so simple and straightforward that it’d be easy to let slide and take for granted, but don’t. Implants are a lifelong solution for tooth loss, but implant loss is possible with serious neglect. The last thing you want to have to deal with is another round of tooth loss and coming up with more solutions for it. Here are the five steps to caring for and preserving your dental implants.
Brush your teeth twice daily
This one can’t have come as a surprise. You can brush your implant and implant-supported restoration just as you would a natural tooth. And, while we’re on the point, brush every tooth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush while using a circular motion. Pressing too hard won’t get your teeth any cleaner. All you’ll do is wear away the enamel on your natural teeth and irritate your gums.
Don’t waste money on whitening toothpaste for your implants
The tooth, bridge, or dentures supported by your implants won’t respond to whitening compounds, so don’t bother using a whitening toothpaste and they’re unnecessarily abrasive. Simply use toothpaste with fluoride. The fluoride won’t do anything for your implant or restoration, but it’ll strengthen your remaining natural teeth.
Floss between each tooth daily whether those teeth are natural or artificial, and whether your implant is supporting a single tooth or your implants are supporting bridges or dentures. Plaque that builds up along your gums can become unsightly — implants or not — and contribute to gum disease as it hardens into tartar — implants or not.
Quit smoking, or don’t start
While dental implants in Port Moody are a highly successful procedure and solution for tooth loss, it is possible for your body to reject an implant. The greatest likelihood that this will occur is during the first few months after an implant while your jaw is bonding with the titanium post. One way to place that bonding at risk and to increase the risk of rejection is to smoke. Smoking tobacco impairs your body’s healing processes. If you’re a smoker who is considering dental implants, your dentist will strongly encourage you to quit before the process begins.
Keep seeing a dentist near you
Just because your implanted tooth roots are made of titanium and your new restorations aren’t natural enamel is not a good reason to stop seeing your dentist twice a year for checkups and once a year for cleanings. A dentist near you will be able to care for all your other teeth, the soft tissues and gums in your mouth, and to identify any signs of potential implant loss. Also keep in mind that dentists are concerned and can support you in matters unrelated to your teeth, including things like oral cancer screening, providing night guards to protect you from sleep bruxism, and even providing screening and treatment for TMJ dysfunction.
What can cause the loss of a dental implant?
Dental implants near you are usually a lifelong solution for tooth loss. As discussed above, your body will very occasionally reject an implant in the first few months, but this is a very rare occurrence. There is, though, a dental disease called peri-implantitis that can, if not treated, result in the loss of an implant.
The symptoms of peri-implantitis are a dull aching sensation, tender gums, swollen lymph nodes, bleeding when you probe or brush the gums around your implant, the presence of pus accompanied by a foul taste, swollen and reddened gums around the implant. The presence of these symptoms may prompt your dentist in Port Moody to x-ray the bone around your implant. Peri-implantitis is confirmed if that x-ray shows that bone receding combined with probing of peri-implant pockets around the implant.
Peri-implantitis is a serious form of dental infection that can cause health issues far beyond your mouth, not to mention that it may result in the loss of your implant and a return to missing teeth. You can prevent the development of peri-implantitis by following your dentist’s implant aftercare instructions carefully, and by following the tips listed above to care for your implants.
If you have any questions about the health or integrity of your implants, don’t hesitate to contact a dentist in Port Moody for early advice and intervention if necessary.