Dental implants can be considered as an investment as patients devote both time and significant amount of money to have them. Like with any other big investment you make, proper care for your dental implants will contribute to their lifespan.
After surgery, implants are expected to take some time to heal and fuse with the underlying bone. Although the surgery itself is not painful, discomfort a few days afterwards can be felt. Dentists usually give pain relief medications and antibiotics to address the discomfort and to prevent any infection that can affect the healing of the surgery site. Modifying your diet by drinking cold beverages, sticking to soft foods as well as cold foods might also be advised by your dentist for a week following surgery.
Dental implant after-home care essentially involves the same oral hygiene routine you do for your natural teeth. Twice daily brushing and flossing are both recommended as they are proven to prevent bacteria from actively adhering and accumulating to tooth surfaces and cause gum and teeth problems.
Mucositis which is the inflammation of the gums can occur if oral hygiene practices are inadequate. This, in turn, can lead to peri-implantitis which is the inflammation (and loss) of the bone surrounding the implant. Both of these conditions will inevitably cause the implant to fail so their prevention needs to be taken seriously.
Some areas around the implant might prove difficult to clean with just your toothbrush and with the use of floss. Additional cleaning aids are available and can be recommended to you by your dentist. Specialized implant toothbrushes, floss, interdental brushes as well as single tufted brushes are among the products you can choose from as they are designed specifically for implants.
Patients who have a penchant for smoking also need to quit the habit as this is a proven cause for implant failure.
Dental implant restorations can also withstand biting forces similar to those of natural teeth however, you do not have to bite them too hard just to try and test them out. As with any artificial appliance, they too have breaking points.
Practicing good oral hygiene also needs to be coupled with the routine dental check-ups your dentist schedule for you. The intervals in between appointments vary from patient to patient and include professional cleaning (especially of difficult-to-reach areas) and taking of radiographs of the implant site.
As you follow your dentist’s instructions and provide great home care for your implants, their lifespan and quality of service will prove to be worth the investment.