Caring for Dental Implants at Home:
When people are missing multiple or all of their teeth, the implant components can be splinted together (connected to each other). When this is the case, it is impossible to floss between these restorations because they are connected. In order to clean these type of implant teeth, patients are recommended to use “superfloss” and a Waterpik. Superfloss is a type of floss that has a hard aspect at the end of the strand that allows it to be fed underneath bridges and connected implants. This allows you to keep the area clean around the gums. A Waterpik is an amazing instrument that shoots water at a very fast speed that can break up biofilm and remove 99% of bacteria around implants and teeth. By using these two things to keep your teeth and implants clean at home, you will have a more long-term successful result.
Professional Dental Cleanings with Dental Implants
Part of regular maintenance for dental implants is getting regularly-scheduled professional cleanings as directed by your dentist. Patients with dental implants typically need to have more regular cleanings than those without implants. Also, hygienists are supposed to use special scalers to clean areas with implants (see picture below).
At our office we use carbon-fiber scalers because they will not scratch the area of the implant near the gum. Scratching any part of the implant or crown makes it more vulnerable for bacteria to adhere, thus susceptible to infection and other complications.
Dental implants are a great solution for replacing missing teeth and are actually very simple to care for and maintain. By keeping up with regular oral hygiene habits (brushing & flossing), visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings, and using special products for certain cases, your implants could last you a lifetime!