If you’re among the many American adults with missing teeth, you may be considering dental implants, which are permanent alternatives to traditional dentures that look, function and feel like natural teeth. If you’re among the many Oral & Facial Surgeons of Arizona patients who have already received dental implants, first and foremost, congratulations! You’ve taken a big step toward improving your oral health as well as your overall physical appearance.
Hopefully, you’re enjoying the benefits of your new, permanently affixed teeth and are once again smiling with confidence. You may also, however, be wondering exactly what you need to do to keep them in great shape as the years go on. Here’s a quick crash course on how to treat your dental implants from Oral & Facial Surgeons of Arizona.
Properly Caring for Your Implants
Generally speaking, you want to care for your dental implants much like you do your natural teeth and gums. This includes:
• Regular brushing (at least twice a day)
• Regular flossing (daily, at minimum)
• Regular dental cleanings
• Regular dental checkups
Much like how failing to properly clean your natural teeth can lead to infection, gum disease, and a range of other problems, failing to properly clean and care for your implants can enhance your chances of developing an infection. Over time, plaque builds up on implants just as it does your real teeth, and if not removed, can cause an infection known as peri-implantitis. When this occurs, you can experience bone loss around the infected implant, which can worsen quickly to the point that you can potentially lose your entire implant.
The Strong Success Rate of Dental Implants
As long as you continue to brush and floss regularly, have regular checkups and cleanings, and practice strong oral hygiene techniques each day, your dental implants will more than likely last a lifetime. Many studies cite that dental implants have success rates of 95 percent or higher.
Are You a Strong Candidate for Dental Implants?
If you’re just learning about dental implants and are relieved to know that your oral hygiene routine won’t stray far from where it is now, you may be wondering if you’re a good candidate for procedures like All-on-4®, or the “Teeth in a Day” process. Generally speaking, most people with strong physical and oral health are good candidates for dental implants. Every situation is unique, however, so the only way to be sure is to schedule a consultation with your surgeon.