Caring for dental implants is very similar to caring for natural teeth, which is one of the reasons why implants are such an effective treatment for missing teeth. When caring for dental implants, keep in mind that it’s extra important to maintain healthy gum tissue and supporting jaw bone to keep the implant in place.
The Arroyo Center for Aesthetic Dentistry is a restorative dental practice in Washington, DC that offers dental implants to patients who are looking to restore their smile. Learn more about how to properly care for this investment in your smile and your health.
Can Dental Implants Get Infected?
Dental implants are made of metal, so the implant itself will never decay or develop a cavity, and neither will the artificial tooth attached to it. The longevity of your dental implants depends on the health of the surrounding gum tissue. If the gum tissue around the implant becomes inflamed, an infection called implantitis, the dental implant may be at risk.
If implantitis goes untreated, the same destructive bacteria that cause gum disease can cover the implant and form dental calculus. This is a hard deposit that can eat away at the supporting gum tissue and jaw bone, and cannot be removed except by a dental hygienist. Failure to treat implantitis can lead to receding gum tissue, bone loss, or even loss of the implant.
How To Keep Dental Implants Healthy
To prevent dental calculus formation, dental implants should be kept clean and free of plaque by brushing twice a day and flossing. It’s also especially important to clean your teeth after meals to prevent food and bacteria buildup in difficult-to-reach places. Use an ADA-approved toothbrush, making sure to brush all sides of the implant.
We advise using the following:
- Low-abrasive, tartar control toothpaste
- Small, soft ADA-approved toothbrush (manual or electric)
- Antimicrobial mouth rinse
- Dental floss
Not only should you perform dental hygiene at home daily, but be sure to schedule regular visits to your dentist. It is recommended that you have a professional exam and cleaning every 3-6 months. You should also have your dental implants examined by X-ray annually.
What Should My Dentist Check For At Every Cleaning?
Your dentist and their team of hygienists need to probe and measure the gums around the implant the same as they do around your teeth, checking and compare x-rays annually, looking for looseness, and checking the bite and that all of the components are attached properly to the implant and are functioning properly.
Dental Implant Care in Washington, DC
If you think you would benefit from implants due to missing or broken teeth or need the implants you already have inspected, the Arroyo Center for Aesthetic Dentistry in Washington, DC is ready to help. Please call us at (202) 525-6913 or schedule a consultation online today!