Did you know that not all dental insurance companies cover dental implants? The cost of dental implants can range upwards of $6,000! The good news is that many dental clinics might offer financing options, and a dental implant can last your entire life. The key to success is proper maintenance and regular dental appointments. These are two areas where dental implant maintenance mistakes happen, leading to infections, broken crowns, and more.
While dental implants are expensive, they can transform your smile and avoid further tooth and gum damage.
Are you interested in learning more? At Newbury Dental Group, we have compiled a complete guide on implant maintenance mistakes and how you can keep your existing or new implants strong and healthy for years to come.
What Is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants completely replace a broken, damaged, or infected tooth. It has a metal screw that integrates with your jawbone over time. On top of the implant, your dentist can place a crown.
Dental implants are ideal for individuals who do not want dentures or other bridgework. Some other benefits of finding a dentist in Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks, CA, that specializes in implants are:
- Improved natural tooth appearance
- Improved speech
- Improved comfort
- Improved oral health (e.g., chewing, flossing)
- Reduced TMJ issues
Missing teeth can affect oral hygiene, natural tooth placement, and increase your risk for infections. Dental implants are easy and seamless ways to support your oral and overall health.
With proper maintenance, dental implants last your entire life. The dental crown may need replacing after 15 to 20 years.
Dental Implant Maintenance Mistakes
If you are new to the dental implant world, you want to understand how to avoid damage to dental implants. Here are some of the most common maintenance mistakes:
- Chewing or biting hard objects
- Lack of oral hygiene
- Tobacco use
- Not visiting your dentist regularly
Traditional dental implants are extremely secure and durable. They are ideal if you have adequate bone density and should act similarly to your regular teeth. Like your original teeth, regular dental hygiene and oral care are critical.
You should aim to brush at least twice daily and implement a regular floss schedule. Unlike your natural teeth, you should floss around the gum line and implant daily. You can also purchase interdental brushes for more implant cleaning tools.
Some foods or objects may be too hard for your crown. Depending on the crown material, chewing on ice or hard candy may cause damage.
Tobacco can also cause significant damage. Nicotine can limit blood flow to your gums and weaken your immune system. This limits initial dental implant healing and can lead to long-term complications.
Regular Implant Maintenance
Implant maintenance doesn’t stop at your dental implant appointment. You should schedule a dental cleaning and check-up at least annually. Typically, yearly appointments are for individuals without any oral disease or issues.
If you notice any problems with your implant, such as tenderness or discomfort, schedule an appointment immediately. Regular check-ins allow for more thorough cleaning and examinations. Your dentist can spot issues early on and address other oral health issues like cavities or gum disease.
Cleaning Dental Implants
Once your implant is finalized, you can start your regular implant maintenance. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush that will cause less gum irritation while removing plaque and tartar build-up. You can also ask your dentist about electric toothbrush recommendations.
You can find several studies emphasizing the benefit of a powered toothbrush. In a meta-analysis, experts found that powered toothbrushes were more effective than manual toothbrushes for plaque removal. Additionally, you can look for an angled toothbrush to clean your implant more thoroughly.
If you want something different than standard floss, you could also use a water flosser. Water flossers target hard-to-reach areas and provide the same benefits as standard floss.
Dental Implant Complications
In some cases, dental complications can arise from the procedure itself. Most times, these complications are mitigated by a qualified dentist with experience working with several types of implants. Here are some concerns to be aware of:
- Gum recession
- Loose implant
- Nerve damage
Chronic inflammation can also show up as a long-term complication. While inflammation can be caused by dental implant rejection or other issues, it can also increase with poor oral care. To avoid some of the complications noted above, your dentist will review several factors to ensure you are a good candidate for this procedure, like:
- Gum health
- Jawbone health
- Lifestyle factors
Medical conditions like diabetes can slow the healing process, and your dentist will need to exercise added precautions. Lastly, ensure you adhere to immediate aftercare instructions outlined by your dental team. These might include things like pain medication, how to manage swelling, and what to eat.
You may also want to take a couple of days off work while you recover. Buy soft foods that you can eat for a few days and avoid chewing anything hard or sharp for several days afterward. These small lifestyle adjustments can reduce the chances of infection or other complications.
Make Your Dental Implant Appointment
Dental implant maintenance mistakes often happen when people fail to perform daily oral hygiene or schedule regular dental appointments. If you smoke or use tobacco, your dentist may talk to you about changing some of your lifestyle choices to ensure long-term success.
With proper care, your implant will last for several years without complications. You can enjoy a better smile and may find it easier to speak and chew. Are you interested in getting started?
Contact Newbury Dental Group and schedule your dental implant appointment today!