Do you have dental implants? Do you love your new smile, and want to keep it as healthy as possible? It is important to know that your implants are not invincible. In a small percentage of cases, implants can fail and might need to be removed. Implant restorations are built to last you a lifetime, but for that to happen, you must be willing to be vigilant in your care of them. The more effort you put into maintaining your implants, the longer they will last. Even if you don’t have implants, but are considering investing in them, it is wise to prepare yourself for the care and consideration they will require to keep your newly restored smile healthy.
General Care Instructions
The maintenance and oral hygiene routine that is recommended for dental implants are similar to that of natural teeth. The required daily care is simple, but crucial to maintaining your healthy smile:
- Brush twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush for two minutes total. Be sure to use toothpaste that is not too abrasive, and that specifically controls tartar.
- Use floss after eating.
- Rinse with antimicrobial mouthwash.
- Take advantage of regular checkups with your dentists every six months.
Keep in mind that it is possible to scratch your implants, so be gentle and thorough.
You should also know that some implants are coated with titanium plasma, which imitates the micro-rough surface of natural teeth. Studies show that these implants, while more realistic, are more likely to accumulate plaque than implants with smooth surfaces.
Precursors to Implant Failure
If you neglect your dental implants, they or the gums that hold them in position can get infected, which can lead to implant failure. Implant failure is statistically rare. Ninety-five percent of implant restorations are successful. However, ten percent of implants and twenty percent of patients will develop either one or both of the following:
This condition is defined as the inflammation of the soft tissue around the implant, and is marked by bleeding from the gums. Studies show that peri-mucositis can be reversible if it is caught early. Bleeding is not normal, and if you notice it call (972) 315-2345 to schedule an appointment.
If peri-mucositis is not treated then it can develop into peri-implantitis, which is the inflammation of the soft and hard tissue due to infection around the implant. This condition is not reversible, and if it is not treated and controlled, then it can lead to advanced bone loss of the jawbone. Because the implant is fused to the bone tissue, it will need to be removed in the advanced stages of peri-implantitis as it will no longer be properly anchored into place.
Smoking With Dental Implants
If you are a smoker, you should know that smoking can increase your chances of experiencing implant failure. Smoking puts you at a greater risk of infection after surgery, and the healing process will usually take longer. A non-smoker has a 1.4 percent risk of implant failure; for a smoker, that statistic increases to 15.8 percent.