Caring for Dental Implants
Winston-Salem, NC

Elderly woman enjoying her new smile at Kurt A. Gibson, DDS, PA in Winston-Salem, NC 27103-3043Rebuilding the foundation of missing teeth with a dental implant is a fantastic option in tooth restoration. The process can be time consuming, and following placement is not the end. You will need to create and continue a daily hygiene routine for the care and continued health of your dental implant.

Infection, including inflammation and decay, can cause significant damage to your soft gum tissue and hard bone tissue. In many cases, infection is the reason a patient lost their natural tooth to begin with. Even with the restoration of a dental implant, infection can be detrimental to the long term success of this restorative process. We will want to discuss the proper care and hygiene techniques to decrease the likelihood of infection and increase your outcome.

Caring for your dental implant includes many of the same guidelines as caring for your natural teeth, including:
•  Be Cautious of What You Eat: This includes two main parts. You will initially need to eat soft foods while your implant and bone heal together, and then as with your other natural teeth, you’ll want to reduce sugar. Bacteria feed on sugar and then emit an acid that is harmful to both natural enamel and your soft gum tissue. We need your gum tissue to be healthy and provide the support that all of your teeth, both natural and restored, need.
•  Brush, Floss and Rinse: The need to brush, floss and rinse, does not go away with dental implants. We still need you to remove bacteria and debris from your mouth twice a day. Though your implant may be metal or acrylic, the supporting gum tissue and bone can still be damaged from bacteria and disease. We recommend switching to a rotating or electric toothbrush. Studies have found that they remove much more plaque than manual toothbrushes. We also recommend finding the floss that is best for you. There are many options of flossing thread, flossing sticks, and water agitators. One may fit your liking better than others. We want you to use the one that you are willing to use daily.
•  Drink Water: Drinking water helps remove bacteria and food debris from the inside of your mouth. Saliva is a natural wash for your mouth, but there are several reasons why a person may not have the necessary saliva levels to do an effective job. Patients who take certain medications, drink alcohol, smoke tobacco or marijuana, or are just older in age, may all have reduced levels of saliva.
•  Attend Your Dental Checkups: Many people wait for a problem to arise before scheduling a dental exam. The best way to care for your implant is to be seen regularly and often. We hope to catch problems when they are small, versus disastrous.

Caring for your dental implant can help you have healthier long term results. If cared for properly, studies have indicated that you may even keep your implant for life. For more information, contact our Winston-Salem office at (336) 283-2593.

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