For patients who have lost teeth due to disease or an accident, dental implants are a common and effective way to fill in the gaps in their smile. In fact, more than 5 million dental implants are placed each year in the United States, according to the American Dental Association. While dental implants have a very high success rate – approximately 98%! – that success relies in part on taking good care of implants after they are placed. If you are considering artificial tooth replacement or recently got dental implants in Orange Park, here is everything you need to know about caring for the newest piece of your smile.
What Dental Implant Problems Can Develop Without Care?
Just like natural teeth, dental implants can develop problems without consistent daily care. Two common dental health issues related to implants include:
- Mucositis – An inflammation of the soft tissue surrounding a dental implant, the symptoms of mucositis include bleeding of the gums. If mucositis is detected early, current scientific evidence suggests that it may be successfully treated and reversed.
- Peri-Implantitis – If mucositis is not treated early enough it progresses to bone loss, also known as peri-implantitis. Unfortunately, the bone loss is not reversible. If peri-implantitis is not treated it can lead to more advanced bone loss and may require your implant to be removed.
How Do I Take Care of My Dental Implants?
Thankfully, you can prevent problems like mucositis and peri-implantitis from developing by practicing some basic oral hygiene habits. Caring for dental implants is very similar to caring for natural teeth, which means you should:
- Brush twice a day for two full minutes each time with a soft manual toothbrush or an electric brush
- Be sure to thoroughly brush each side of your dental implant, including the outer, inner and chewing surfaces
- Floss at least once a day, especially after meals when bits of food are likely to be stuck between your teeth
Your dentist may recommend additional hygiene supplies to care for your new dental implant, including:
- Antimicrobial mouthwash
- Inter-dental brushes designed to remove plaque from between the teeth on either side of the implant.
- Disclosing tablets that use staining to show where plaque has accumulated in your mouth.
The Importance of Regular Dental Checkups
The final important step to keep both your dental implants and natural teeth healthy is to make regular trips to a dentist in Orange Park. The American Dental Association recommends seeing a dentist every six months for a routine dental exam and cleaning. If you have a dental implant, a regular dental checkup is an opportunity for your dentist to:
- Assess implant health by measuring the gums around the implant
- Annually check and compare X-rays of your teeth and dental implant
- Examine the dental implant for any looseness
- Check your bite
- Confirm that all of the components attached to the implants are functioning properly
With proper care, dental implants can be an effective and aesthetically pleasing solution for replacing missing teeth. Just follow the tips above for a healthy and whole smile that will last a lifetime!
About the Practice
A proud member of the Florida Prosthodontic Association, Dr. Matthew Nawrocki is dedicated to helping patients in Orange Park maintain healthy and complete smiles. As a specialist in prosthodontics, Dr. Nawrocki has expert knowledge and experience when it comes to dental implants and other tooth replacement treatment options. Patients interested in learning more about ways to fill in gaps in their teeth can contact Dr. Nawrocki at this website or by calling the office at 904-272-1588.