The best way to care for dental implants after surgery is to adhere to the aftercare instructions given to you by your dentist, followed by ongoing maintenance (i.e., cleaning). Taking proper care of your dental implants can lead to a quicker healing time and ensure the longevity of your new smile.
Here’s what you need to know about making your dental implants last a lifetime.
Caring for Your Dental Implant Post-Surgery: The Short Term
While dental implant surgery is relatively painless, a lot happens in your mouth to get your implants placed. The root of the original tooth is replaced with a titanium post called an implant body – it’s the implant body that becomes integrated into the bone.
Surgery in itself—especially one like dental implant surgery, where a foreign object in placed in the bone—should never be taken lightly, especially when it comes to the healing process. Following the immediate aftercare instructions can speed up your healing time and increase your chances of a successful implant.
Immediately after the placement of your implants, my team and I will go over the will go over the immediate aftercare and home care instructions. That way, you’re fully prepared to care for your implants during the healing phase.
After 24 hours, you can begin cleaning the affected area much like you care for your natural teeth. You can use any manual or automatic soft-bristled toothbrush – simply brush at an angle to clean around the implant. After a few days, you’ll be able to gradually begin gentleou’ll also be able to gently use other devices including Waterpik, sulcabrushes and end-tuft brushes, and rubber tip stimulators. (Just make sure all tools are nylon-coated to present scratching your implant). You can also begin to floss around the exposed part of the implant – for multi-unit implants, you’ll be given a specialized floss.
Long Term Care and Maintenance for Your Dental Implants
Long term care and ongoing maintenance for your dental implants isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Once you’ve fully healed from your surgery, regular care for your implants is almost exactly like what the care for your natural teeth: brush, floss, and regular visits to the dentist.
The only real difference between caring for dental implants vs. caring for your real teeth is that you’ll likely need to 3-4 professional cleanings a year.
Why the need for extra cleanings?
Extra cleanings are especially important for patients who lost teeth due to poor oral hygiene. While your dental implants can’t get cavities, they’re still susceptible to infection in the area around the implant—especially if oral hygiene remains poor after the surgery. Plus, while you likely won’t experience an infection, your implants still endure the same wear and tear as your natural teeth.
That’s why it’s important to have your new implants monitored regularly by an expert.
Your 3-4 dental visits per year get your implants professionally cleaned, examined, and evaluated.
When you come to my office, the expert hygienists on my team use special instruments to clean the areas of your dental implant you’re can’t reach on your own.
Once we’ve established that your implants have fully integrated, and we’ve got a track record of good home care and sustained oral health, your appointments with me go back to the standard 2 times per year.
With both good home care and keeping a professional cleaning schedule you will help to increase the longevity of your implants throughout your life.
Pretty simple, isn’t it?
When you come into my office for a consultation, we’ll discuss even more ways that you can care for your dental implants and ensure their permanence.