According to the Academy of Osseointegration and various research studies, dental tooth implants tend to have a long-term success rate of around 90%. Research also shows that when complications arise or a dental implant fails altogether, it is usually because of poor dental care leading to an infection or gum disease at the implant site.
If you have tooth implants or you’re planning on having one or more implants in the near future, it is essential that you make a commitment to looking after them and your remaining natural teeth.
Generally speaking, you can care for dental implants in much the same way as you can the rest of your teeth. However, it is vital to clean the area around the abutment properly – this is the part of a tooth implant that fits on the implant screw and protrudes through your gum to act as the base for your false tooth.
You should also book regular dental examinations and hygienist appointments to make sure that your oral health stays in tip-top condition.
Daily care for tooth implants
When you brush your teeth, it is advised to clean to brush into the gum line as well as in between your teeth. This is especially important around your implant-supported tooth.
If you have a single implant, you should be able to brush as usual, giving special attention to the inner-side of your teeth and any hard to reach areas. If you do have any areas that you find hard to reach with your normal toothbrush, you could try a soft end-tufted ‘interspace’ brush, which will help you reach the inner surface of all of your teeth.
We often recommend that tooth implants patients use an interdental brush – which looks like a tiny version of a bottle brush – to clean the sides of any implant-supported teeth on the crown and abutment posts. This brush should fit between your teeth using a gentle back and forth action to clean. An interdental brush should be small enough to fit the gap between your teeth comfortably but big enough to touch all of the appropriate surface areas.
If the gaps between your teeth are too small for an interdental brush, you can use dental floss to clean between your teeth and around any tooth implants.
Cleaning tooth implants on a bridge
If you have several tooth implants that hold a bridge in place, you may need to modify your cleaning routine slightly. It is important that you clean under the bridge and dental floss may not be suitable for this. Many people with multiple implants and a bridge find a soft interspace brush helpful for reaching the crevices in the bridge and around the implant posts. An interdental brush is also ideal for cleaning under the bridge.
Advice about cleaning your implants
Your dentist and hygienist will give you practical advice about how best to keep your dental implants clean and healthy to give them the greatest chance of long-term success. With the right care, they have the potential to last a lifetime.
If you have any questions about cleaning your tooth implants, your dental hygienist is the ideal person to ask.
Looking for tooth implants in Lincoln or the surrounding areas? Call us at the Dental Health Centre on 01476 594480 to book an appointment and find out more.