Maintaining Dental Implants – Northgate, Seattle, WA
Dental implants are considered the “gold standard” in tooth replacement and it’s easy to see why. In fact, patients often say that their implant feels so natural that they practically forget they have it. But, just like natural teeth and other types of dental work, implants need to be maintained to stay healthy and fulfill the potential they have of lasting a lifetime. If you have any questions about caring for your implant that aren’t addressed here, don’t hesitate to contact us!
Make Oral Hygiene a Priority
Thankfully, dental implants in Northgate, Seattle can’t get cavities like natural teeth. However, they still require healthy gum tissue for support. In fact, just like gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss, it can also lead to implant failure.
To keep the gums healthy, brush at least twice a day for 2 minutes and floss at least once. Flossing around an implant is a bit different than your other teeth. If we haven’t already, we’ll be happy to show you the right technique during one of your visits.
Depending on your needs, we may also recommend helpful tools that are easy to use such as an electric toothbrush. For some patients, an oral irrigator is a great addition to their brushing and flossing routine because it flushes out bacteria from the “nooks and crannies” around an implant.
Protect Your Dental Implants
Clenching and grinding at night is very common and can be attributed to many things, including the everyday stress of modern life. Unfortunately, it puts a huge amount of force on implants and can cause them to become loose or fail over time. Wearing a nightguard will help prevent any potential damage to your implants and protect your natural teeth from cracks and fractures at the same time.
Also, although an implant is quite strong, it’s a good idea to avoid chewing on ice, hard candies, etc. to prevent chipping or damaging the crown, bridge, or denture that’s attached to it.
Schedule Regular Checkups
As a dentist in Northgate, Seattle, we’ve seen firsthand how important regular checkups are for maintaining all types of dental work, including implants. Dr. Sage will closely monitor your implant at each visit and use routine annual X-rays to evaluate the bone levels and make sure it has plenty of healthy support.
If we catch signs of gum disease such as bleeding or swollen gums early on, we can often recommend early intervention and treatment to prevent an implant from failing. Although implant failure is relatively rare, it’s still worth it to see us regularly to reduce the chances as much as possible.