How to maintain dental implants

Dental implants are now a very common treatment option to replace missing teeth among adults. 

Whether you’ve had a single dental implant, multiple or even a full dental arch, taking top care of your dental implants is essential for longevity and preventing dental implant infection.  

Cleaning implants is as important as cleaning natural teeth.

Plaque collects on implant crowns and needs to be removed daily. If plaque builds up an infection can develop.

Different from inflammation around teeth, this reaction can grow quite quickly and dramatically, leading to bone loss around the affected implant. Bone loss can quickly cause the loss of an implant.

Bacteria and plaque can cause infection in the tissues around the implant

To ensure the longevity of an implant, specific techniques and efforts are necessary to keep it clean and free of destructive bacteria and plaque, which can cause infection in the tissues around the implant and lead to peri-implant mucositis and/or peri-implantitis. 

  • Peri-implant mucositis is a reversible inflammatory reaction within the soft tissues that surrounds a dental implant, but with no bone loss.
  • Peri-implantitis is an inflammatory condition around dental implants often associated with the loss of surrounding bone. 

Implants Cleaning

The dental hygienist has an important role to play in keeping dental implants disease-free. Traditional dental hygiene scalers used on natural teeth can scratch a crown, or implant, so your hygienist will instead use special tools made of plastics and resins to thoroughly clean without causing damage.

Like any natural tooth structure, dental prosthetics, including implants can accumulate plaque and calculus, which is why good oral hygiene is crucial in maintaining good gum health around dental implants. 


Implants home care routine

  • Clean at least twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush
  • Use a low-abrasive toothpaste
  • Brush under and around the implant crown
  • Use a nylon coated inter-dental brush to clean hard-to-reach places
  • Floss daily with unwaxed tape or implant-specific floss
  • Use a recommended oral irrigator

What to do in the Case of Dental Implant Infection

Dental Implant Infection is usually caused by harmful bacteria either following the surgery or sometimes even years later. Common signs of a dental implant infection are:

  • Bleeding when brushing and flossing  
  • Red, puffy gums (gums should appear firm and pink)
  • Bad breath or unpleasant taste  
  • Loose implant
  • Visible pus
  • Difficulty chewing

At the first sign of infection, immediately book an appointment to see your dentist. The sooner you fight the infection, the faster it will heal. 

Regular Checkups

It is very important to have regular dental check-up and oral hygiene visits to ensure longevity of the dental implants. This means to see a dental professional at least every six monthly or as recommended.

GlenHuntly Dental clinic team is more than happy to help you find what it is that works best for your particular implant(s) and the rest of your teeth to keep them healthy and beautiful.

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