Caring for Your Dental Implant
Dental implants are a revolutionary solution to help restore your smile after tooth loss. For several reasons, they are more patient-friendly than dentures. As dentures are removable, quite fragile, and need to be replaced regularly, many of our patients here at Malmquist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery opt for dental implants instead.
If properly maintained, a dental implant can last a lifetime. However, even though your dental implant is very durable, it still requires care and good oral hygiene to help ensure its longevity. Whether you have a single tooth implant or a multiple tooth implant, it is important to be advised on how to best care for your dental implant and promote your overall oral health.
A Focus On Post-Op Care
It is essential to follow all of the care directions for your bone graft or dental implant surgery. While both of these procedures have high success rates, some of this does depend on the patient. You do need to treat your mouth carefully and gently. We also recommend that you avoid spitting and using straws while healing, too. You will need to eat very soft foods in the period right after your procedure, and be sure to use all medications as prescribed.
Tips for Proper Dental Implant Maintenance
Much like your natural teeth, dental implants still need to be brushed and flossed daily. Note what type of toothbrush you are currently using and be prepared to switch to a soft-bristle or nylon toothbrush. Harder bristled toothbrushes can scratch your implant. Similarly, avoid abrasive oral hygiene products. Be especially careful to avoid intensely flavored mouthwashes after getting a dental implant, too.
If you do not already prioritize flossing, now is a good time to make it a habit! Plaque and tartar can still build up on implants and be disastrous for your oral health. A water flosser is a good, gentle alternative for implants if you do not like dental floss. Having an artificial tooth is not an excuse to neglect to keep your mouth clean.
For dental implants using the All-on-4® Treatment Concept, it is essential to be dedicated to flossing, as well. It is recommended to floss around the bridge after every meal. After your All-on-4 procedure, be sure to have the parts of the implant pointed out so you know how to intentionally clean your multiple tooth implant.
It is also extra important to avoid smoking and alcohol use, especially in the first six months after your dental implant. It takes about six months for your dental implant to fully heal and bond to your jawbone, and studies have shown smoking and alcohol use can be detrimental to the healing process.
Please discuss with us if you have any bad dental habits such as nail-biting or grinding your teeth. While dental implants are strong, they can still be damaged. To get the benefit of a lifelong dental implant, you must be very careful. You should also refrain from using your dental implant to bite open packaging or chew on super hard things.
If you have more questions or concerns about the care and maintenance of your dental implants, please reach out to us here at Malmquist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery by giving us a call at (503) 446-6776 today. We look forward to discussing this with you further.