Good oral hygiene is necessary to maintain oral health. This is especially true in the presence of dental implants. Because a dental implant is constructed from titanium or other biocompatible material, they do not form cavities. However, they are on the other hand prone to bone loss. Inflammation of supporting tissue with the presence of bone loss around teeth is referred to as periodontitis. Inflammation of supporting tissue with bone loss is referred to as periimplantitis. Periimplantitis is often seen in patients with poor oral hygiene. Even though importance of oral hygiene may not be stresses by the surgeon, in most cases after osseointegration, or fusion of the implant to the bone, keeping the dental implant clean and healthy is the number one determinant of long term implant success. Obtaining a dental implant is a short and simple process but maintaining it can pose more of a challenge. This is especially true for patients who have not practiced good home care throughout their life. Dental implant has to be looked at as an investment, which provides good oral and general health as well as a pleasing appearance. Let’s go into more detail about oral hygiene and dental implants.
Dental implants, and implant restorations are cared for in the same manner as our natural teeth. The main goal of oral hygiene technique is plaque removal. Brushing away the plaque from the surface of the crown or implant especially focusing on the area around the gum line is critical. Eliminating the plaque, which occurs between the teeth is accomplished by flossing. It is also important to regularly check the implant assembly for any movement. Any loosening of components should be treated as emergencies.
The motto for dental implant patient’s home care is “floss, brush, and wiggle.”
Regular toothbrush and toothpaste is recommended. Electrical toothbrushes can be beneficial because they are more efficient in plaque removal. Regular floss is adequate for most implant-crown assemblies. In situations where large spaces exist between dental implants or a dental implant and a natural tooth, yarn, post implant care kit (Butler GUM), and superfloss (Oral B) are recommended in place of floss. These products are very efficient at plaque removal and are easy to use. They should also be used in situations when dental implants are splinted together with a dental bridge or other prosthesis.
In instances where a proxybrush or any other type of interdental brushes are used care must be taken to ensure that the wire that holds the bristles is nylon coated. This will protect the titanium surface of the implant from being scratched by the wire. Scratching the implant surface will create microscopic grooves that will harbor bacteria and cause localized inflammation.
Oral hygiene around dental implants and implant restorations is just as important as oral hygiene around natural teeth. Good oral hygiene will lead to long-term stability of the dental implant and natural teeth, and provide years of oral health.