Maintaining Healthy Dental Implants

Considering the long term care of titanium implants.

Having invested in new dental implants, it makes sense that you will want them to last for a long time and in good health. This is relatively straightforward to do as long as the aftercare guidelines are adhered to. Our experienced Epsom dental team offers some guidance below, to re-enforce the details you will be given at the time of your treatment.

Immediate aftercare and placement

When you have taken the decision to have a dental implant placed, the dentist will ask you to refrain from smoking or drinking alcohol for a period of time, both before and after the placement. This is important advice as it is essential that your gums and bone are in the best health possible.

Smoking and alcohol can both increase the risk of gum disease, but perhaps more significantly as this particular stage, can also slow down the healing process and may even threaten the chances of a successful implant. You will also be advised to eat a liquid or soft food diet for a short period following the placement. This avoids putting strain on the implant until such time as it has sufficiently integrated with the bone.

Long term aftercare

Unlike some teeth replacement methods, such as dentures, there are no particularly special cleaning requirements for dental implants. This does not, however, mean that you can ignore them, even though they are made from a material that will not decay. The strength and longevity of a dental implant relies heavily on the successful integration of the implant and the bone, and the need for the bone to remain healthy. Provide it does so, dental implants should be expected to last for twenty years or more.

The biggest threats to your bone health are periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease and peri implantitis, a very similar destructive inflammatory process. These diseases attack not only the gums but also the bone and can gradually erode the underlying jawbone structure to the point where it can no longer hold the implant firmly in place.

Preventing Gum Disease

The good news is that these types of gum disease are usually preventable with appropriate aftercare. Regular brushing with a brush that is no more than three months old, along with either dental floss or an interdental brush to clean between the teeth, goes a long way in keeping gum health on track.

We will also need to see you periodically to keep a check on the health of your implants, including regular cleaning and ongoing advice to support your own personal care. This way we can help you to minimise any risks and help to keep your implants healthy and functional for the years ahead.

If you would like more information about dental implants or general oral health care, please call our Epsom based dentist on 01372 720136.