Upon receiving your implants, it is of high importance to keep the crowns on the implants clean and care for them. Dentists always warn the patients about the risk of failure based on smoking, history of radiotherapy, systemic health issues and also local bone quality and quantity. The effective and careful maintenance ensures the longevity of the implants. Besides annual check-ups and occasional visits, you can make sure your crowns on implants are kept clean yourself with a few easy steps. After receiving the crowns, the dental team always tell and show the patients the correct ways and methods of cleaning their mouth, so the home care will be easier.
Suggested at-home maintenance steps:
- About tartar: When the implants are not thoroughly cleaned, it can cause plaque and eventually tartar build-up. When these are not removed, and the inflammation is still there, it can affect the bone and can lead to bone-breakdown.
- Through cleaning: Upon receiving the implants, the dental team explains the correct way of cleaning them. For this, besides using regular, soft bristled toothbrushes, the use of special tools is necessary, such as various types of flosses and also interproximal brushes of varying types and sizes. The use of oral irrigator is strongly not recommended.
- Regular dental cleaning: The help of a dental hygienist is often needed in the maintenance process. With professional tools the dental hygienist can help the patients to get rid of any plaque or tartar build-up. They will also perform several other tasks, such as applying treatments, checking the health of your remaining teeth and gums and also examining your oral cavity to check for any irregularities.
These irregularities can be:
- Peri-implant mucositis: this is an inflammation of the soft tissue around a dental implant but without additional bone loss.
- Peri-implantitis: an inflammatory process affecting the soft and hard tissues surrounding dental implants with the loss of supporting bone.
In the following lines you can read the advice of our leading dental assistant, who is also a dental hygienist, Barbara Kiss, on the steps to a perfect home dental cleaning:
- brush your teeth thoroughly in the morning and evening, for about 2.5-3.5 minutes
- use an interdental toothbrush in the morning and evening
- flossing is recommended for solo crowns and bridges
- superfloss is recommended for bridges and one-piece dentures
- alcohol-free mouthwash is recommended, even for daily use
- the use of oral irrigator is strongly NOT recommended in the presence of implants
- regular professional dental cleaning by a dental hygienist is recommended
- home tartar removal is NOT recommended, it should be carried out by a professional
- it is fortunate if your mouthwash contains cetylpyridinium chloride + domphene bromide, which helps to keep your teeth smooth and makes it more difficult for tartar to form
While there is a lot you can do to maintain excellent oral health, it is a good idea to book regular hygiene appointments to learn how to improve your cleaning and care techniques and have a professional examine your gum and teeth. Depending on your risk of gum disease, you should consider seeing a dental hygienist every three to six months.