Dental implants are currently the best option available for restoring missing teeth. Implants can last a lifetime with the proper care. Of course, like any type of restoration, they do require a little care and attention. Knowing how to keep your implants looking and functioning their best is important for ensuring you get the maximum return on your investment.
How to look after your dental implants after surgery
Good oral hygiene is essential to successful healing. If prescribed by your dentist, use a chlorhexidine mouthwash. The day after surgery, warm salt-water rinses are also recommended and should be used four to five times a day, especially after meals. Be gentle when using mouthwashes and avoid vigorous swilling. Your dentist may encourage you to start cleaning your teeth and healing abutments with a toothbrush straight away, but be careful around the implant sites.
Maintain proper oral hygiene regimen
Once your new implants and the surrounding gum have healed, and your replacement teeth have been fitted, they must be cared for in the same way as normal, natural teeth. To keep your teeth and gums healthy, brush twice daily, floss and visit your dentist and hygienist regularly.
If tooth cleaning is poor, bacteria can build up and cause inflammation. If left untreated, the inflammation can cause bone loss around the implant. Eventually, the implant loses anchorage in the bone, becomes loose and can fall out.
How long do dental implants last?
You may have heard that dental implants can last for about 25 years or more. This is true as long as you take adequate care of them. Note that the longevity of your dental implant depends on several factors, which include:
- Your oral practices. How well you take care and maintain your dental implant, like brushing and flossing at least twice daily and making a biannual visit to the dental office, will influence how long your dental implant will last.
- How you use your teeth. Chewing or biting hard on hard items, and also opening crown cork with your teeth will negatively affect the lifespan of your implant.
- How skillful the dentist who managed the implant is. If your implant surgery is handled by a well-trained and experienced dentist, your dental implant would last longer. This is because professional dentists know how to place the implant perfectly, evaluate the osseointegration progress and determine if your jawbone has completely fused with the implant.
- Location of the implant. The location of the dental implant in your mouth will also determine the longevity of your dental implant. For instance, implants positioned at the back of the mouth will receive more pressure due to chewing than those positioned in the front. As a result, the implant at the back of the mouth may fail more quickly than those at the front of the mouth.
- Your general oral health and lifestyle. Patients who smoke or drink heavily are at a higher risk of experiencing implant failure than non-smokers and non-drinkers. Hence, in order to ensure that your dental implant lasts as long as possible, refrain from smoking and drinking heavily before and after the placement of the implant.
If you have further questions about the dental implant procedure, contact us or schedule a visit with our professional and caring dentist for answers. We are always here for you.
Schedule a dental implant consultation
Schedule a dental implant consultation today by calling us at (915) 598-7264, or visiting our Contact Us page to send us a message. Our staff is highly qualified and ready to answer any questions you have about dental implants, treatments, insurance, or financing options. We can’t wait to see you smile!