Losing your own teeth can be a highly distressing experience. That’s why many patients choose dental implants. You also want to be able to do things as if you still had your original set of adult teeth. And just as is the case with your adult teeth, your implants need care on a day to day basis to continue with a high quality of life!
Why do dental implants and dentures need to be cleaned?
During regular prophylaxis in the dental practice (action taken to prevent disease), signs of chronic inflammation and its symptoms are identified before they are allowed to worsen. The professional removal of bacteria on the implant surface is a central method carried out in the cleaning process.
This cleaning by the specialist should take place regularly. Also, the current condition of the jawbone should also be examined and documented.
The goal here is:
- to recognize any risks in good time,
- to avoid diseases, and
- to keep the (often expensive) dentures for as long as possible.
After implantation, these factors are decisive for the long-term success of dental implants:
- The prosthetic supply should be of high quality.
- The implant must grow in healthily without inflammation.
- The gums must be kept healthy.
- The diet should be balanced.
- It’s advisable not to smoke!
However, risks and complications can also occur if the wearer of the implant neglects good dental practice and oral hygiene.
Peri-implantitis endangers the dental implant
Peri-implantitis – inflammation with bone loss around the implant – is comparable to periodontitis with natural teeth. Both diseases are triggered by bacteria, which makes untreated periodontitis a risk to the longevity of the implant.
Peri-implantitis, as in periodontitis, degrades the jawbone – the implant loses its anchorage and loosens. In fact, peri-implantitis is the most common cause of implant loss. If you find one of the following warnings, you should make an appointment with the dentist immediately.
These are common symptoms of peri-implantitis:
- gums that bleed heavily during dental care.
- pus forming around the dental implant.
- reddish colored gums around the implant.
Tips from the professionals: This is what dental implants need to last a long time!
How is implant cleaning in the dental practice different from ordinary teeth cleaning?
“If a patient has dental implants, we will of course take this into account when cleaning their teeth. Even with high-quality implant restoration, there can be places that you as a patient cannot reach yourself. That’s our task! Because in hard-to-reach places of the implant, the dental plaque can only be completely removed in the dental practice.”
Are there special devices for cleaning implants?
“Yes, we only use plastic or devices with plastic attachments. Plastic is more flexible than metal and therefore particularly gentle on cleaning the dental implant. There are special carbon attachments for ultrasound cleaning. With other devices, we would scratch the surfaces quickly.”
What exactly does the typical implant prophylaxis look like?
“We tailor the treatment individually to each implant patient. This all belongs to implant prophylaxis:
- We measure the depth of the gum pockets around the dental implants and compare the values with the latest results. This is how we determine whether something has changed in the condition of the periodontal system.
- With a powder water jet device, we clean the surfaces of the dental implants and remove dental plaque even in places that cannot be reached with the toothbrush.
- By polishing the surface of teeth and dentures with a special paste, we ensure that bacteria can attach less quickly.”
How often should an implant patient come to the dental practice for a check up?
“In addition to the appointments for regular professional tooth cleaning, check-ups at fixed intervals are important. This increases the durability and service life of dental implants. Patients should book preventive examinations in their calendar at least twice a year. Immediately after implantation, the distances are shorter to optimally support the healing process of the artificial tooth roots.”
What can patients do for a healthy implant?
“A lot! And it’s not complicated to achieve….
- Patients should gently care for and clean the dental implant. Purchasing a soft toothbrush and the use of a toothpaste with only a few brush bodies is recommended. This is called non-abrasive toothpaste.
- In addition to brushing teeth, cleaning the gaps with interdental brushes is also important. We are happy to show patients how this works best.
- In practice, we then take care of the plaque that remains despite good dental care. The treatments are carried out by specially trained employees.”