Dental implants change lives by improving appearance, overall health and oral health. However, just like natural teeth, they still need regular maintenance and care, and that includes regular visits to a dental hygienist who will clean your dental implants, among other tasks.
Whether you have a single dental implant or an entire mouth of dental implants, ongoing care is crucial. Neglected implants develop plaque and tartar and may also be susceptible to germs that can cause painful gum disease and infection. In fact, dental implants are slightly more vulnerable to infections than natural teeth.
Dental implants have a success rate of more than 90%. However, without the correct care, there is a good chance infections will ultimately lead to dental implant failure. But the danger can be avoided.
Dental hygienists play a crucial role in the overall success of dental implants. These dental professionals are oral health educators and clinicians and are involved in key stages of implant therapy, from planning the initial treatment to ongoing maintenance.
After having your dental implants placed, the hygienist will be the dental professional you see more often than any others. They will explain how to look after them and inform you of any risk factors that could jeopardize the success of your new teeth.
A dental hygienist will clean dental implants and performs several other tasks, including cleaning teeth with special equipment, applying treatments, checking the health of your teeth and dental implants and examining the oral cavity to check for any irregularities, such as:
Peri-implant mucositis: this is an inflammation of the soft tissue around a dental implant but without additional bone loss.
Peri-implantitis: an inflammatory process affecting the soft and hard tissues surrounding dental implants with the loss of supporting bone.
The dental hygienist will also:
1) Give you tips and advice on how to create and maintain a healthy environment in your mouth. This will include:
2) Establish an excellent oral hygiene routine with you to continue when you’re at home.
3) Advise on the impact of other health problems and lifestyle factors on the health of your mouth. For example, smoking can lower your immune system, which makes your gums more susceptible to infections.
4) Advise on the most appropriate dental care products for you, such as an electric toothbrush, interdental brushes for difficult-to-reach areas, mouthwash and tongue cleaners.
5) Regularly review your home dental care instructions and ensure you understand the importance of oral hygiene to prevent destruction to the implant or implant site.
6) Give you tips on how to look after your general health, such as avoiding stressful activities as much as possible, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep.
7) Perform deep-cleaning techniques below the gum level to the peri-implant tissues if you ever have any difficulties keeping your dental implants clean.
Proper monitoring and maintenance will ensure the longevity of your dental implants. It is a team effort involving you, your dental hygienist and your dentist. One of your roles is to look for possible signs of infection such as:
While there is a lot you can do to maintain excellent oral health, it is a good idea to book regular hygiene appointments to learn how to improve your cleaning and care techniques and have a professional examine your gum and teeth. Depending on your risk of gum disease, you should consider seeing a dental hygienist every three to six months.
If you’ve had dental implants and would like to speak to a knowledgeable and experienced hygienist about any issues you might be experiencing or discuss how best to look after them and your natural teeth, arrange a consultation at Chesterfield Dentistry. Simply call (314) 469 6420 or book online.
Our skilled dental hygienists will provide you with the highest quality of care.