Patients in Hanford, CA ask, “How do I care for my implants?”Posted By Dr. Nikunj Raiyani
Background on dental implantsBefore the advent of implants, tooth replacement choices consisted of a denture or a bridge. Both are sound dental solutions, with something in common – they sit on top of gum tissue. Neither has the notable characteristic of a dental implant. An implant becomes part of your body, fused solidly into jawbone much like a natural tooth root. It is then “loaded” with a crown (or other restoration) to replace the missing tooth. While a denture or bridge reinstates the appearance and function of a missing tooth, those restorations do not have the stability of an implant.
Patients derive another big benefit from dental implants. Underlying bone provides the structure that keeps facial proportions balanced, lips full, and skin taut. Each time you bite down, roots of natural teeth provide stimulation that fortifies bone. Without that stimulus, bone diminishes. The nose gets closer to the chin, the mouth sinks inward, and skin on the lower half of the face sags. Dental implants replace this vital function of tooth roots, helping to preserve facial bone.
Why oral hygiene is essentialA dental implant is made of a titanium metal alloy or other biocompatible material. The body readily accepts it, with little chance of allergy or rejection as bone bonds with the implant. From this perspective, a dental implant can realistically last as long as any other part of your body. That longevity, however, requires care – as you take care of other parts of your body (eyes, skin, joints, heart, etc.) so they continue to function properly and comfortably.
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Wondering how do I care for my implants?
Most implants are stand-alone replacements for missing teeth, topped with porcelain crowns. A person may have just one implant restoration, several at various locations in an arch, or even an entire arch of implanted teeth.
Regardless, care generally follows these steps:
- Using a soft-bristle toothbrush and mild (non-abrasive) toothpaste, brush teeth at least in the morning and before going to bed. After every meal is better.
- Use a micro side-to-side motion at the gum line, cleaning around the implant crown as well as each of the other teeth. Then, use a sweeping motion away from gums to clean flat sides, and don’t forget to scrub chewing surfaces of molars. While it is essential to keep the margin of the implant restoration clean, bacteria proliferate quickly so the whole mouth should be brushed thoroughly.
- Floss before bedtime. An unwaxed tape-type is best, and there are flosses made specifically for people with implants.
- An interdental brush is like a small bottle brush, designed to clean hard-to-reach spots between teeth. This can be a good addition to your daily regimen.
- A water irrigator may also be a wise choice for implant longevity and overall oral health. The stream of water gently loosens debris, flushes bacteria, and stimulates blood flow to gums.
- Maintain regular cleaning and examination appointments at Hanford Family Dental Center.
With good home care, healthy nutrition, and regular dental checkups, dental implants have an excellent long-term success rate. Call (559) 530-8080 to schedule a visit with Dr. Raiyani if you have further questions.
Hanford Family Dental Center
Dr. Nikunj Raiyani
At Hanford Family Dental Center we want to give our patients the best and most modern dental care. While dentistry focuses on the prevention and treatment of dental conditions and enhancing the aesthetics of your smile, we add a personal touch to it by understanding that your smile is unique. Through several years of training and experience, Dr. Nikunj Raiyani provides the best and most effective results through personalized and customized care. We work alongside you to help you achieve all your dental goals and desires. Our hygienists JD, Daisy and Jessica go the extra mile to educate you and help ensure your comfort throughout the treatment process. Although our office environment is modern, our Front Office staff and assistants ensure that you have a pleasant and smooth experience every time you visit us. At Hanford Family Dental Center, everything is about you!
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