Dental implants are a significant investment and maintenance of those implants is mandatory. Cutting back on good oral hygiene is like growing a tiny seedling into an enormous monster. A small issue can result in a much larger problem.
Prevention is key. Proper daily oral hygiene, with in-office prophylaxis by a registered dental hygienist with an examination by a qualified dentist helps to ensure a healthy mouth and implants.
Dr. James Rutkowski, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Oral Implantology* addressed dental implant maintenance in an editorial in this month’s issue. He said, “When everything is going well, patients can “slack off.” His editorial stressed that, “as patients get older, they sometimes develop other health issues and take more medications, which affect their oral health.” Poor hygiene maintenance and missed recare appointments can turn small manageable issues into larger problems and even lead to failed implants.
During each oral hygiene visit, the patient’s medical history will be reviewed and updated. Dental implants, teeth, and gum tissues are evaluated, noting soft tissue inflammation and bone loss. Proper home care routine is reviewed and oral hygiene instruction is provided.
The American College of Prosthodontists recommends prophylaxis and dental examinations be performed every 6 months. The organization suggests that higher risk patients have these treatments on a 3 to 4 month schedule. This higher risk classification is based on age, systemic health, periodontal health, medications, and the patient’s ability to perform self-care.
Maintain your dental investment. Ask your dentist or hygienist if your hygiene regimen is adequate. If you are due for an oral hygiene visit, please give us a call or click here to schedule.
* Special Thanks to: James L. Rutkowski, DMD, PhD, Editor in Chief, Editorial, Journal of Oral Implantology, DOI: 10.1563/AAID-JOI-D-Editorial. 4201.