So you’ve decided to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant. That’s great! Many dentists use this procedure to provide patients with a smile that makes them feel confident and comfortable.
But how exactly do you care for your dental implant once it’s in? And what should you avoid to ensure that it stays healthy for a long time to come.
Woo Young Lee, DDS, our provider at Grace Dental Group, wants all of his patients to feel as confident in their smiles as possible and to have the best dental hygiene options available. This is why we offer dental implants and clear instructions on caring for them.
Dental implants: before and after
Dental implants are one of the most popular options for replacing a missing tooth. They offer the best marriage of stability and simplicity of care. When you choose to have a dental implant put in, this means a titanium post will be placed in your jawbone, and a crown will be placed on top.
According to a 2021 study, dental implants have a 97% success rate of lasting for at least ten years, and in many cases, they can last much longer. They also minimize your chance of experiencing dental issues due to a missing tooth, like infection and decay. Finally, they maintain the jawbone’s integrity and help keep the nearby teeth from becoming sensitive.
A dental implant can make a substantial positive impact on your life, but it is crucial to remember that you will be responsible for taking care of it once you leave our office.
The DON’Ts of dental implant care
1. Don’t smoke
One of the most common ways to ensure that your dental implant will fail is to be a smoker. Smoking causes healing to happen more slowly, leading to the jawbone failing to fuse with the metal post. If you’re looking for a reason to stop smoking, here it is.
2. Don’t ignore dental hygiene
Make sure you take care of your teeth. A well-cared-for dental implant can last for decades, but one that isn’t maintained properly can experience several complications. Always brush twice a day, floss once a day, and use antibacterial mouthwash.
3. Don’t skip your dental visits
Many people don’t see regular dental visits as part of dental hygiene, but they are. You need to visit your dentist regularly to avoid plaque buildup, which, eventually, your toothbrush won’t be able to handle. Make sure you keep visiting us to check up on your implant.
4. Don’t chew hard items
Whether it’s ice, jawbreaker candies, or something else, hard items that aren’t meant for chewing are especially problematic if you have a dental implant. You could break the crown, causing you to have to begin the whole procedure again. You don’t want this, so make sure you always keep your implant in mind when you chew.
5. Don’t use coarse products
When you choose your dental care products, go for options that use the word sensitive or gentle. This is because abrasive products could be uncomfortable for your new implant and its healing process. Also, buy a soft nylon toothbrush, and use that to clean the implant rather than a hard-bristled brush.
6. Don’t deviate from your care instructions
Your dentist is giving you instructions that will ensure the long-term health of your dental implant. So, if he says to avoid hard foods after certain stages of the process or buy a nylon toothbrush, these are important rules to follow.
Dental implants make a difference
They help our patients feel and look more confident and effectively solve many dental hygiene problems that could lead to long-term issues. If you think you’re ready for a dental implant, there’s no time like the present.
To visit Dr. Lee at our San Francisco, CA office, book an appointment online or call (415) 921-8867.