Caring for Your Dental Implants

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Caring for Your Dental Implants

Dental implants are widely regarded as the most dependable teeth replacement option on the market. If you’ve chosen implants as part of your treatment plan, it’s important to protect your investment. The best way to do that is to visit Dr. Abbey Lee at our Grant Park dental office regularly and keep your implants clean between visits with proper home care.

To learn more about dental implants, or any of the other services we offer, schedule an appointment at Smiles 4 Grant Park. Call us today at 404-328-7177.

How long do dental implants last?

No two patients are the same, so the answer to this question can vary depending on the unique circumstances. However, in most cases, dental implants can last decades. In fact, with appropriate care and maintenance, they usually last a lifetime. This is why dental implants are often more affordable in the long run. Even though they have a higher upfront cost, they last much longer than bridges, dentures, and other restorative options. Keeping implants clean is the best way to preserve their longevity.

Why Cleaning Implants is Different from Cleaning Natural Teeth

First, it’s important to address the shape differences between a natural tooth and a dental implant. Because they are conical in shape, implants often result in wider spaces between the teeth. This can become apparent when using floss or interproximal brushes. Additionally, a natural tooth has a wider neck, while an implant has a smaller one. 

How to Clean Single Implants

If you’ve replaced a single missing tooth with an implant and crown, here are a few tips and tricks for keeping it in good shape:

  • Clean it at least twice a day using non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Brush under and around the implant crown using an interproximal brush.
  • Using a type of floss recommended by your dentist, wrap the floss all the way around the implant, and clean it using a “shoeshine” motion. (Our Grant Park dental team can demonstrate for you.)
  • Consider using an antibacterial mouthwash to keep bacteria at bay.

How to Clean Overdentures

Have you replaced an arch of missing teeth with an implant-supported denture? If so, here are some pointers for maintaining your appliance:

  • Remove your appliance and soak it every day in a denture cleanser. Rinse thoroughly with water before placing the denture back in your mouth.
  • Carefully clean the denture with a soft-bristled brush. Avoid using harsh or abrasive pastes.
  • Be sure to monitor the wear on your o-rings, clips, and locator caps. Inform Dr. Lee if anything is warped or missing.

The Importance of Dental Implant Maintenance

While it’s true that dental implants are impervious to cavities, they are still vulnerable to bone loss. In the same way that pockets can develop around natural teeth, bone loss can occur around implants as well. This condition is known as peri-implantitis, and it is characterized by red, swollen, tender gums.

To prevent peri-implantitis, be sure to attend routine cleanings and examinations at intervals recommended by your dentist. Many individuals can maintain healthy teeth and gums with six-month cleanings. However, some may require more frequent visits, especially if they are genetically predisposed to decay, gum disease, or other oral health issues. 

Contact Our Grant Park Office Today

Keeping your dental implants in tip-top shape is the best way to protect your investment and preserve your oral health. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment at our Grant Park practice, contact us online or give us a call at 404-328-7177.

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