Dental implants are becoming more and more popular as a tooth replacement solution and it’s easy to see why. In addition to the health benefits, the implant posts can last for over 30 years or even a lifetime – much longer than the average lifespan of traditional dentures or bridges! However, to get the most out of your dental implants in Lutz, you’ll have to make sure you’re taking good care of them by following these 4 essential steps.
1. Brush After Every Meal
Brushing your teeth to get rid of plaque buildup is always important – even if they’re prosthetic teeth supported by implants. Manual and electric brushes are both okay to use, but it’s important to choose one with soft bristles so that you don’t damage the restoration. Likewise, make sure that the toothpaste you’re using is nonabrasive.
2. Floss Daily
Food can easily get stuck around the abutment, which is the component that attaches the prosthetic tooth to the rest of the implant. Make sure you use dental floss that’s been designed to be used on implants. Some patients might have a hard time using traditional string floss either due to the location of the implant or their own physical limitations (for example, patients with arthritis who have trouble holding the floss). If this is the case, you can try water flossers or interdental brushes; these tools are easier to use than traditional string floss but can be just as effective.
3. Use an Antimicrobial Mouth Rinse
While dental implants have a high success rate (95% to 98%), one of the biggest reasons for them to fail is an infection at the implant site. To prevent this condition, it helps to use an antimicrobial mouth rinse to help kill any bacteria in your mouth that you might have missed while brushing and flossing. Different patients will need to follow different regimens depending on their oral health, so follow the directions from your dentist in Lutz.
4. Keep Up with Your Regular Dental Appointments
After getting dental implants, having a dental appointment every 3 to 6 months becomes even more important. Your dentist and hygienist will check the gums around the implant much like they would for your natural teeth. They’ll check for looseness and bite problems; they’ll also make sure that all of the implant’s components are intact and functioning properly. A dental X-ray should be taken at least once a year to confirm that the bone supporting the implant is still healthy.
If you don’t take care of your implants, peri-implantitis – or bone loss in the implant area – could take place, and you could lose your new tooth altogether. But by following these steps, you’ll be able to enjoy your beautifully repaired smile for years to come.
About the Author
Dr. Jay A. Nelson has been helping patients in Lutz and the surrounding communities smile brighter since 1987. He is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry and a member of the Academy of Comprehensive Aesthetics. He has plenty of experience helping patients keep their dental implants in good shape. To schedule an appointment at his practice, Nelson Dentistry and Dental Sleep Medicine, visit his website or call (813) 949-0424.