How to Take Care of Dental Implants

Published: 10th March 2011
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As a cosmetic dentistry specialist in Saratoga Springs, Dr. Glenn Park says that the best way to take good care of dental implants is to treat them just like you do your regular teeth. According to Park, most of the issues that come up for patients with dental implants at his practice, Glenn Park DDS PLLC, could be avoided if the patients just treated their implants with the same care as they do their natural teeth.

When it comes to dental implant, the most common type is a single unit or single tooth implant. That is where you are missing one tooth, and you replace that missing tooth with an implant. In single unit implants, the implant itself should actually be covered up by bone. So if that implant is exposed to the outside environment, then there is something wrong with it. Patients will get a crown that goes on top of the dental implant, and the crown becomes what is essentially the new tooth.

Patients should go to see a dentist immediately if an implant ever becomes exposed. If an implant does become exposed, there could be a number of reasons why. While age is a consideration in some dental procedures, it plays no factor in dental implants. Neither does oral hygiene, since the frequency with which someone brushes or flosses will not likely have an impact on the security of the personís implants.

Do not smoke.

In fact, the most important factor when keeping a dental implant secure and in place has to do with smoking. Smoking cigarettes will decrease the bone in the mouth, which will cause the bone on a patientís upper teeth to rise up and the bone on the lower teeth to fall down. That sequence of events doesnít usually happen overnight, but it can happen in a short enough period of time so that the patient will notice changes in his or her mouth.

Having extensive bone loss due to smoking can cause some of the threads in the mouth to hold onto more plaque and bacteria. Then the bacteria and the plaque are going to be the culprits that cause even more bone loss. In addition to bone loss, that buildup of plaque and bacteria can cause an increase in bad breath, along with possible tooth decay and infection.

In Saratoga Springs, cosmetic dentistry professionals will go to great lengths to make sure that the implants they place are put in properly and that the interior part of the implant in completely covered. They will usually talk to their patients about smoking. And again, during the procedure of actually placing the implant, they do not recommend that you smoke.

Do not use metal instruments to clean mouth.

With all that said, we know that the same basic rules of oral hygiene apply to proper dental implant care as well. The proper way to take care of an implant is to treat it like a regular tooth. So you should floss once a day, and brush twice a day. While there is no special toothbrush that people with dental implants need to use, I remind patients not to use any metal instruments to clean their mouths once an implant has been placed.

When a patient with a dental implant comes into my cosmetic dentistry practice in Saratoga Springs for a cleaning, one of our hygienists will take an X-ray to determine whether the patient has any crowns or implants in his or her mouth. If the patient is found to have a dental implant, then we will take special care around it. Because the implant is made of metal, any metal instruments that a dentist uses could scratch the surface of the implant.

Usually, I make sure to advise patients of this information, since I do occasionally see patients who say they use metal instruments to clean around their own teeth at home. But those metal instruments should not be used on a dental implant. That is the biggest precaution, because other than that, a dental implant is just your basic tooth and you just need to keep it clean from plaque and bacteria.

I recommend that patients with dental implants use regular toothbrushes with standard bristles for their twice-a-day cleanings. A soft bristle toothbrush, regular floss, a water pick, and any type of rinse are all that they need. I also recommend sticking to the basics when it comes to the proper care and maintenance of these implanted metals.

The information in the article is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.

Glenn Park is a writer for Yodle Dental Marketing, a business directory and online advertising company. Find a dentist or more related articles at Yodleís Guide to Dentistry.

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