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How To Maintain Your Implants
Salem, OR

Rendering of jaw with dental implant. If you have recently received dental implants, congratulations! More than three million Americans have at least one dental implant, and about half a million people get new implants each year. Dental implants replace teeth you are missing after a tooth extraction, periodontal disease, or even tooth decay. Fairmount Dental Center has been doing oral surgery, such as wisdom teeth removal, for a long time. We have done dental implants for years, and we also know how to give you advice on properly caring for your dentures. Let Fairmount Dental Center help you maintain your implants.

Understanding Dental Implants

Dental implants were first invented in the late 1990s when a dentist was looking for a way to imitate natural teeth as much as possible. While dentures have been a great solution for missing teeth for decades, they can create problems for some adults. Many adults have issues with ill-fitting dentures, such as blisters from friction. Also, dentures can be painful to wear, especially when you first get them. One of the biggest problems with dentures is that they cannot mimic your natural teeth. Dentures lie on the surface of your gums. Your body, thinking that your jawbone does not need to be as strong as it is, begins to remove bone tissue. Your jawbone becomes weaker, and bone loss can lead to changes in your facial structure.

Dental implants have three parts: an implant screw, an abutment that connects the implant screw to the prosthetic tooth, and the prosthetic tooth itself. Also, dental implants can include a single-tooth implant, implants for multiple teeth, or implants that replace all of your teeth.

Our dentist begins your implant surgery by making an incision in your gum tissue so that they can access your jawbone area. They drill a hole into your jawbone to place the implant screw and close the incision. Over the next few weeks, your jaw is healing, which means your jawbone brings new bone tissue to the area where your implant screw is, which fuses the screw into your jawbone. This gives your implant stability. After the area around your implant screw heals, the dentist uses an abutment to connect the screw and the new tooth and then attaches the prosthetic tooth.

Once your implant heals fully, you will need to make sure you care for your implants correctly. Here is some advice about making sure your implants last throughout your lifetime.

The Importance of Proper Implant Care

It is crucial to care for your implants correctly because there is always a possibility your implant can fail. When an implant fails, it has to be removed. There is also a chance that your implant cannot be replaced without bone grafts and additional surgery. In other words, the better you care for your new implant, the less likely you will have an implant fail.

Daily Cleaning and Care

You will need to brush and floss your implants at least twice a day. Some people with implants choose to brush and floss after each meal or snack. When you brush your implants, you will need to use a very soft-bristled toothbrush so you do not damage the implant. There are toothbrushes specifically designed for implants that you can use as well. When you need to use toothpaste, you need to make sure the toothpaste you use does not have harsh abrasives that can potentially damage your implant.

Some people, especially people with multiple-tooth implants, find flossing with implants to be difficult. You have to make sure that you are flossing directly underneath the prosthetic tooth to get any trapped food particles and plaque. One solution you may want to try is a water flosser. Water flossers are particularly good at getting underneath the implants without harming the implanted teeth.

Professional Cleaning and Check-ups

In addition to keeping your teeth healthy through brushing and flossing, you need to come in to see our dentist twice each year. Dentists are great at spotting and treating potential problems before they can become real problems. The greatest risk to an implant is infection, as your mouth is full of bacteria. Dentists can help you keep your implants healthy through dental exams.

Our dentist can also check your surrounding natural teeth around the implant as well. If your implant is not functioning normally, it can stress the natural teeth around them and lead to issues with your natural teeth. Also, the more your implants are cleaned and checked, the longer they will last. If you care for them properly, implants can last a lifetime.

Not only can our dentist examine your implants, but hygienists can also professionally clean your implants to keep them as healthy and bright as possible. Imagine your lovely white smile and your professionally buffed teeth that you present to the world. There is nothing like the feeling of clean, polished teeth - whether they are natural teeth or implanted teeth.

Avoiding Harmful Habits

When you have implants, there are some habits you need to stay away from. First, you need to avoid using tobacco. Many dentists will not even consider doing implants in tobacco users because it raises the risk of infection and delays healing time. Also, you need to make sure that you are not chewing on anything excessively hard, such as ice, pencils, or pens. You need to avoid overly sticky foods as well, such as gum or caramel.

Identifying and Addressing Issues Early

One of the best ways to keep your implants healthy is to give our office a phone call right away if you are concerned that you have a problem with one of your implants. The sooner you can get in to see our dentist, the more quickly they can identify any problems you have and fix them. If you have an infection for example, if it is treated quickly, your implant has a great chance of remaining infection-free.

Do you have a question about your dental implants, or are you curious about whether or not you would make a good candidate for implants? Why not give Fairmount Dental Center a call today at (503) 362-8364 and let us set you up for a consultation with our dentist? That way, you will be able to get answers to your most pressing dental questions. Reach out to us today.
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How to Maintain Your Implants | Salem, OR | Fairmount Dental Center
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