How To Care For Your New Dental Implant With Good Oral Hygiene And Help From Your Family Dentist

Once you've gotten an implant to restore your smile and improve your dental health, you'll need to take good care of your implant so it doesn't develop problems. An implant won't get a cavity, but it can develop a condition called peri-implantitis that is similar to gum disease. Here's how you can care for your implant and gums so you can avoid the discomfort of peri-implantitis and possibly lose your implant.

Keep Regular Visits With Your Family Dentist

It's important to see your family dentist on the recommended schedule for a dental exam and cleaning. Your dentist will check the implant and your gum around it to make sure there are no problems.

If inflammation is found, treatments can start before the problem advances. Plus, keeping your other teeth clean and healthy through regular dental visits controls bacteria in your mouth, and that helps your implant stay healthier.

Call Your Dentist When You Have Symptoms

If you notice inflammation in the gum around your implant, call your dentist and request an appointment to have your implant checked. Other symptoms to watch for include gum redness, bleeding when you brush, gum tenderness or pain, and swollen lymph nodes.

The early symptoms of peri-implantitis are often similar to gum disease. That's because both conditions start with bacteria getting under the gum. As peri-implantitis advances, the infection can go deep in your gums to the implant itself and create the need to remove the implant to get rid of the infection.

Practice Good Dental Health

Everything you do to keep all your teeth healthy will benefit your implant too. Avoid sugar as much as possible since it attracts bacteria, and brush and floss at least twice a day. Your family dentist may also recommend you stop smoking and keep medical conditions that affect your oral health, such as diabetes, under control.

Start Treatments Early

Your family dentist may treat your condition with antibiotics first to see how well your infection responds. You might also be given laser treatments to kill the bacteria. Your dentist might even refer you to an oral surgeon for surgery on your gums or implant. The surgeon might need to open your gum to reach the implant to clean out the infection.

If you maintain good oral hygiene, you shouldn't have problems with your implant. If you're prone to gum disease or have diabetes, you may want to be vigilant with the care of your oral health once you get an implant.