Dental Implant Aftercare
You have made a significant investment in your smile, and like you we very much want you to enjoy the benefits for many years to come. Now that you have completed your treatment it is important that you care for your implants in order to get the best long-term results.
It is important that your dental implants are checked by your dentist regularly just like natural teeth. We recommend that a dentist checks your implants after 6 months and at least once a year thereafter to ensure they are maintained and are healthy. In addition to your regular dental checks we would like to offer you some oral health advice you can implement yourself at home.
It is best that a medium nylon brush is used to keep your dental implants and gums healthy. You should pay particular attention to the area where the tooth/implant meets the gum line as this is the area where plaque can build up and cause inflammation or other conditions that can affect the health of supporting tissues.
Visits to the hygienist are a vital part of the maintenance of your implants as well as your teeth. We suggest you visit a hygienist 3 months following the restoration of your implants, following which the hygienist will let you know how often you should return.Hygienist Services
Whilst brushing will remove plaque from the outer surfaces of teeth it will not be very effective at removing the plaque that forms between the teeth. To achieve this we highly recommend using special brushes called interdental brushes. Interdental brushes have small bristled heads specially designed to clean between your teeth. They are available from our reception, from most supermarkets and high street pharmacies. They are available in different widths to suit the sizes of the gaps between your teeth, and it is likely you may need to use more than one size of brush.
You should follow your dentist’s advice about using interdental brushes, including how often you should use them. The tips below may also help.
- use a brush appropriate for the size of the space between your teeth, as advised by your dentist
- insert the brush gently between your teeth – don’t try to force the brush into the space
- if you work to a pattern round the whole of your mouth, it will help you not to miss out any of the spaces
The area most likely to require attention is the space between the teeth or underneath your bridge. As it is not possible to pass conventional floss between the teeth, a special dental floss called Superfloss has been designed specifically for use under the bridge. One end is rigid which makes it easier to pass under the bridge, with a spongy part for the effective removal of plaque. The use of interdental brushes is also highly recommended.
For full-arch bridgework or difficult to access areas the use of a water flosser can be very effective. This is a device that emits jets of water acting to flush out food debris and plaque from under your bridge.
Keeping both your implants and your dentures clean is very important. Your dentures may be retained either by a bar or little studs called anchors or abutments which remain in your mouth even when you remove your denture. Efficient cleaning of both the bar and denture anchors can be achieved by brushing alongside each part. In addition, using the correct size interdental brush can also be adopted for use underneath a bar. When cleaning denture anchors a circular motion is a good technique to ensure that these are kept clean.
We recommend you remove your dentures at night and clean them using a denture brush and denture cleaning paste (not toothpaste), paying particular attention to the surface of the denture that is in contact with your gums and palate. Your denture should then be stored overnight in water to prevent it from drying out.
You should avoid the use of products that contain harsh chemicals to clean your dentures as these can affect the denture by discolouring the plastic and metal structures.