How to care for dental implants

Dental implants are not uncommon and many people across Australia live with dental implants every day. A dental implant is essentially an artificial tooth root and it is designed to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place, on a patient’s jaw. They do this by basically fusing with your jaw and this offers a number of advantages of some possible dental alternatives. Dental implants are typically constructed from five-grade titanium, which means that they are incredibly strong and durable. Furthermore, their surfaces can vary with remarkable precision through sandblasting, etching and plasma spraying, amongst other things. The foremost advantage of dental implants is that they do not rely on surrounding teeth for support. Surrounding teeth can very easily become loose or damaged and that would pose a threat to the stability of any tooth that relied upon them, which is partly why dental implants are so popular. Dental implants are designed to last for up to twenty years, however as with anything, they do require some care and maintenance to ensure that they remain durable and last you as long as they should. This article explain how to care for dental implants which is essentail to ensure their durability.

Some things to be aware of

A great deal of research has been conducted around dental implants and this research has concluded that the longevity of your dental implants depends not only on the extent to which you maintain them, but also on some of your lifestyle choices. These choices are important as soon as you leave the dental surgery, as it can take dental implants three months to completely integrate with your jaw and fuse properly to the bone. This is the period of time in which you will need to be extremely careful. Much like having braces, you will need to avoid most sweets and hard foods – including nuts and even apples – for the transitional period. It is important that you clarify this with your dentist, as it can differ between different individuals. In the longer term, there are some things that can damage your dental implants and chief among these is smoking. Smoking can cause considerable damage to your mouth and this can trigger a range of problems with your dental implants. Similarly, it is important that you maintain a high standard of oral hygiene when you have dental implants as these factors can all contribute to health of your mouth and ultimately, the stability of your dental implant.

Some stages of care for your dental implant

Your dental implant will have to be implanted surgically and this means that there is a distinct recovery process with which your dentist will provide you before or after surgery. It is paramount that you strictly adhere to your dentist’s directions as any failure to do so can have considerable implications on the success of the implant and your oral health as a whole. Though the post-surgery care instructions differ from person to person, they generally refer to three stages.

#1 Immediately post surgery

In the short term after your dental implant surgery has been completed, you will have to follow several steps to ensure that the implant has the best possible chance of succeeding. Likewise, you will need to follow the dentist’s instructions to make sure that there are no complications that could possibly affect your health or the health of your mouth. Usually, your dentist will instruct you to use a prescribed mouthwash, and maintain a regimented brushing routine of their recommendation. If you stick to these instructions, you are giving your dental implants a good start.

#2 3 months post surgery

During the three months that followed your dental implant surgery your dentist might schedule a few follow up appointments, however it is also not unusual for them to wait for the three-month mark to do this. Either way, you will likely be told to contact your dentist after three months to check in. The dentist uses this appointment to measure the progress of your dental implant and assess the condition of your oral hygiene to ensure that there are no issues. This is also a good time for you to present the dentist with any queries you may have. During your appointment, your dentist will probably give you an ongoing care plan for your dental implant and these are often tailored to individuals.

#3 Ongoing care instructions

The ongoing care instructions that you receive from your dentist are targeted at caring for your dental implant and making sure that it lasts for as long as possible, without causing you any issues. Because of this, it is vital that you follow your care instructions carefully. A failure to care for your dental implant can have health implications and will also result in costly dental work to repair any damage that is done. The care instructions themselves are usually quite simple and often, they will not be all that different to your regular dental care routine.

Most importantly, pay attention to your dentist

Getting dental implants can be quite a complex process and there are many things that need to be taken into consideration. Many people don’t realise how many factors go into choosing a dental implant, surgically implanting it and, of course, ensuring that it remains stable for as long as possible. With surprisingly many types of dental implants available, it all comes down to what you need personally and this is where you need to work with your dentist to make sure that the solution you get, is the best one possible. Your dentist has all the training, expertise and experience necessary to match the perfect dental implant with your mouth, however a lot of the post-surgery care comes down to you. The various stages of care – between the surgery and when your implant finally integrates with your jaw – are important and can genuinely mean the difference between a poor implant and a successful one. If you stick to the care instructions provided and communicate any of your problems with dentists, however, you are placing your dental implant in a good position to succeed and last you for up to twenty years.

For more information and tips on how to care for dental implants, get in touch with our friendly team today on (07) 3284 7112 or (07) 3888 9125.