Dental implants are one of the most helpful breakthroughs in dental health care. However, they also run the risk of causing complications or total failure. It is important for the patient to take care of their dental implants to make it function well and last longer.
There are several worries caused by dental implants which include peri-implant mucositis (inflammation of the tissues around the implant) and per-implantitis or the progressive bone loss. In a study, it was found out that 20 percent of the patients suffered from peri-implant infections in the first 10 years of the implants.
To prevent infections from forming, here are some ways to take care of dental implants:
Right after the surgery:
- Have a soft diet. Liquids, fruit shakes, and cold rice porridge can be a good source of nutrition but will not disturb the implant aggressively. It is important to note that cold foods are preferred over hot foods. Cold foods constrict the muscles and help lessen the bleeding.
- Take all the prescribed medications to prevent infection and pain.
- Use a tooth-brush with super soft bristles to clean the area without troubling the surgical incision area. Don’t use an electric toothbrush for at least two weeks.
- Use saltwater rinses two times daily.
- Do not wear temporary braces or other prostheses while the gum is not healed yet. Wait for at least two weeks before wearing them again.
Long-term care tip:
- Visit your dental hygienist regularly. The most common enemy of your dental implants includes calculus formation, biofilm formation, cement retention and inappropriate occlusal forces. Your dental hygienist will do probing on the surrounding of the implants. If there is bleeding while probing, it means that you have per-implant mucositis that needs to be treated right away. The hygienist will thoroughly clean and polish the affected tooth.
- If the bleeding does not stop after doing all the cleaning, it can be a sign of peri-implantitis. If the finding is positive, a surgery is needed to remove the cement which is the root cause of the problem.
- Aside from brushing after meals, it is also advised that the patient should floss his teeth after brushing. Brushing is not enough to remove the plaque.
The long-term benefit of the dental implant depends on how the patient takes care of it. The best advice is to follow the recommendations by the dentist. Simple habit such as brushing and flossing the teeth can really help to make the implant stay healthy for so many years.