Just like natural teeth, dental implants require the right care to look and feel healthy. Taking care of any remaining teeth and the gums surrounding the dental implants ensures that they continue to support your smile. Here you can learn why you need to care for your implants as well as the best methods for cleaning and taking care of your restoration. At West Ashley Family Dentistry, we want our patients to be educated on caring for dental implants that we can provide in our Charleston, SC dental office.
Implant Infection and Failure
Although dental implants are not made of the bone that makes up natural teeth, they can be negatively impacted by the surrounding teeth and gums. Gum disease and tooth decay are the main causes of infection that can cause dental implants to fail. Tooth decay is caused by harmful bacteria that eat away at the gum tissue and tooth enamel. If left untreated, plaque, the bacterial film that covers the teeth and gums, hardens to form calculus. Calculus is a hard coating that is often accompanied by cavities, gum recession, and bone loss. Dental implants can destabilize if patients develop a severe gum or tooth infection. Implants loosen or fall out if the teeth and gums are not treated.
During the dental implant process, we will ask that patients refrain from smoking. This is because nicotine inhibits the healing process. Nicotine that is found in tobacco products restricts blood flow, which means that dental implants cannot fully fuse to the jaw bone. Our team will thoroughly examine your smile before the implant process to make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy and free from infection.
Keeping Your Dental Implants Healthy
Patients need to brush and floss between their crown-capped dental implants twice a day. A regular oral hygiene routine helps to remove food particles that bacteria feed on from between the teeth. We recommend that patients brush gently using a soft manual or electric toothbrush. Using a low-abrasive toothpaste will also protect the crowns from damage. Antibacterial mouth rinses can also be used to fight off the growth of harmful bacteria.
For every patient, we recommend biannual dental visits. Visiting the dentist for a routine cleaning and examination every six months helps provide a deep clean and keeps your oral health in check. At these regular visits, our dental team can examine the health of your implants and find any early signs of decay or infection.
Contact Our Office Today
If you notice any change in the fit of your dental implants or implant-secured restoration, please request a dental consultation with our team online. New patients can call our office at (843) 371-5480, while current patients may call (843) 571-7951. Please let us know if you have any remaining questions and we will be glad to assist you.