Keeping your teeth and gums clean through routine brushing and flossing will help to protect your investment in dental implants. While the new prosthetic teeth cannot develop tooth decay, your remaining natural ones still can. Plus, a condition known as “peri-implantitis” which is usually caused by poor oral hygiene may also cause dental implants to fail.
Some at-home hygiene tips include:
By caring for your oral health with excellent oral hygiene practices, you are protecting the foundation of your dental implants to help them stay stable for a lifetime to come.
Even initially successful dental implants can get loose and fall out due to certain factors, and one of the most significant risks is smoking. If you smoke or use tobacco during the healing phase of your dental implant procedure, they may never fuse together with the jaw bone at all. Or, even if you pick up the habit years after, this may bring on bone loss that eventually causes the dental implant posts to lose their secure bond as well. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a balanced, nutritious diet will help to protect your new dental implants.
After your dental implant procedure is complete and your smile has officially been restored, your dentist will set you up with a schedule for after-care. Make sure to attend these follow-up appointments religiously, as they will be important for ensuring the continued health of your dental implants. Cleaning away plaque and tartar will help to prevent the formation of peri-implantitis, and early detection of any potential issues will increase the chances that prompt, successful intervention can take place.
Following these tips can help you avoid a loose or failing implant — but, even if it does happen to you, do not panic. Get in touch with your dentist right away. In the meantime, do not touch or wiggle the implant, as this could result in additional bone loss and the failure of the implant. With successful intervention, your implant dentist can restore the health of the implant to keep your smile whole!