Dental implants are the tooth replacement that is most like your natural teeth, all the way down to the maintenance. Dental implants just require the same basic care that your natural teeth do, and if you treat them properly, dental implants can last a lifetime. At home, you just have to brush, floss, and avoid bad habits that can endanger implants, and in our office we will carefully monitor your implants to make sure there’s no reason for concern.
If you have questions about maintenance or other aspects of dental implants, we can answer them. Please call (702) 873-0324 or email us for an appointment with a Summerlin implant dentist at the office of Dr. James B. Polley today.
With fixed dental crowns or bridges on top of a dental implant, oral hygiene is basically the same as for your natural teeth. Brush your teeth twice a day, and floss daily.
When brushing your teeth, make sure you’re not brushing too hard. Although your gums will grow up around the dental implant, they won’t bond with it as strongly as with your natural teeth. Brushing too hard can cause receding gums around the implant, which may expose the implant.
The same goes with flossing. We will teach you how to properly floss around your dental implants so that you can get all the areas clean without injuring your gums.
If you have gum disease or other oral health challenges we might recommend daily rinses similar to mouthwash or other products that can preserve both your dental implant and your natural teeth.
Checkups and Cleanings
Professional cleanings are similar when you have a dental implant. Always make sure the hygienist knows which tooth is your implant so they can clean it properly. If you have had previous oral health problems, such as teeth lost to gum disease, we might recommend that you visit our office more frequently, perhaps three times a year, to make sure there are no problems with your implants.
We will perform a comprehensive inspection of your dental implant at your visits. We will look to make sure the implant and the tissue around it seems healthy. We will probe the gum tissue to make sure it’s healthy and not receding. We will confirm that the implant is firmly anchored in the jawbone. X-rays will be taken the same as with your natural teeth, but if we have concerns, we might recommend additional imaging, such as a special x-ray on the implant, a panorama, or even a CT scan to help us identify potential problems with your implant. Learn more about how we inspect dental implants.
Habits That Can Damage Your Implants
It’s also important to make sure you are avoiding habits that can put your dental implants at risk. Tobacco use, including cigarette smoking and chewing tobacco can both put your dental implants at risk. The danger is greatest when your implants are new, but even after your implants are established, problems that come with tobacco use can lead to gum disease, bone loss, and, eventually implant failure.
If you’re accustomed to using your teeth to break ice, crack nuts, open bottles, or perform the tasks of other tools around the house, stop! These can damage your dental implants even more than your natural teeth, causing them to loosen and, eventually, fail.
Don’t chew your fingernails, pens, or other non-food objects, as these can also lead to failure of your implants.
If you treat your dental implants right, they will serve you will with years, even decades of good use. If you would like to learn more about maintaining dental implants in Summerlin or if you want to get your implant process started, please call (702) 873-0324 for an appointment at the office of Dr. James B. Polley.