How To Take Care Of Your Dental Implant

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If you have a missing tooth, then getting an implant is a good way to fill in the gap and prevent bone loss. Since an implant is placed deep in your bone, it stimulates the bone every time you chew and this helps keep your bone from receding. An implant keeps your other teeth from shifting, and it looks like a natural tooth. While an implant has many benefits, it is an expensive dental procedure. Therefore, you want to take good care of your implant so it lasts a lifetime. Here are some tips to follow.

Maintain Good Oral Health

An implant functions like a natural tooth. If you take good care of it, it should last as long as the rest of your teeth. However, if you allow gum disease to develop, you can lose your natural teeth and the implant too. That's because advanced gum disease causes your gums to recede and your teeth to get loose. It can even cause a loss of bone tissue that makes your implant weaken. You can avoid this complication by brushing and flossing regularly to keep plaque off your teeth.

Also, get regular dental cleanings and examinations by your dentist. Gum disease begins with plaque buildup that turns into tartar. Tartar has to be removed by a hygienist who scrapes it off. By practicing good oral hygiene habits, you can ward off gum disease and keep your gums and bone healthy and strong. This ensures your implant will have a long life. 

Clean The Abutment

The abutment is the connecting piece between the implant in your jaw and the artificial tooth or snap attachment for a partial plate or denture. You'll need to brush this when you brush your other teeth or clean your denture. The easiest way to do this is with an implant toothbrush. These brushes have a tiny head designed to clean the sides of the abutment and the gum where the abutment rests. Your dentist will recommend the appropriate brushes and floss that will keep your abutment clean. You will be taught how to use them so you can keep bacteria from growing on your implant and causing a gum infection.

Care For The Artificial Tooth

If you have one implant with one artificial permanent tooth, you can brush it as you would the rest of your natural teeth. You also need to protect it in the same way. Just because the tooth is artificial, it doesn't mean it is indestructible. Avoid crunching on hard candy or ice cubes because this can cause your implant tooth to crack just like it can cause a natural tooth to crack. If you damage your implanted tooth, your dentist only has to replace the tooth since it rests on top of the actual implant. It isn't necessary to put in a new implant too.

If you have a snap on partial or full plate of teeth, you should remove them and care for them as you would regular dentures. This involves brushing them daily and soaking them overnight to keep them clean and hygienic.

Cleaning and caring for your implant doesn't take much more time than you normally spend brushing your teeth, but it is very important to do it properly so your gums stay healthy and your implant stays strong. Contact a dental professional like Bruce Mathes DDS for more information.