Implant Care & Maintenance

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Long term success of implant needs extra care and maintenance of the surrounding bone and gums to keep them healthy. This is fundamentally dependent upon effective home care and professional prophylaxis. Implants need regular monitoring for prevention of recurrence.

At home implant care:

(Contribution of the patients as co-therapists)

  • 1. Brushing: Twice daily cleaning of implants to remove plaque accumulations using powered or manual soft toothbrush (as recommended by your specialist). These brushes can access the difficult to reach corners and undersurfaces.
  • 2. Interproximal cleaning: Use of floss, interdental aids and commercially available water irrigation systems for use around implants.

Professional Hygiene care:

Debridement of dental plaque and calculus is a part of the implant care appointment. Research supports complete deposit removal from all dentition - natural and implants.

  • 1. Adequate individualized maintenance program and regular professional hygiene care is of paramount importance.
  • 2. Early detection of peri-implant inflammation can minimize the damage and prevent future implant loss/ failure due to complications.
  • 3. Regular scaling and root planing with instruments specially designed for implants as well as selective polishing crown/abutment to leave highly polished surface.
  • 4. Locally applied chemotherapeutics: Early intervention with locally applied antimicrobials like Arestin, Atridox, Periochip and/or subgingival irrigation can be helpful in reducing inflammation (bleeding on probing) and reducing probing depths.

Do you know the consequences of not getting regular maintenance?

Yes, the dental implants can get infected!!

Bacteria can collect on implant surfaces, and this can lead to peri-implant mucositis and/or peri-implantitis. Peri-implant mucositis is a reversible inflammatory reaction within the soft tissues that surround a dental implant, but with no bone loss. Peri-implantitis is an inflammatory condition around dental implants often associated with the loss of surrounding bone. Implants can be considered to be ailing or failing. Ailing implants refer to those that exhibit bone loss with pocketing. This pocketing is historically stable upon assessment at maintenance appointments and does not progress. Failing implants refer to those that exhibit bone loss with unstable pocketing. This condition is associated with continuing changes in bone architecture, purulence, and bleeding on probing.

Q: Do dental implants accumulate plaque and calculus?

+ Yes, like any natural tooth or denture in the mouth dental implants can be a reservoir for plaque and calculus.

Q: What happens during the debridement maintenance appointment?

+ The debridement appointment will include a review of health history, an intraoral assessment and examination, radiographs (when indicated), debridement of soft and hard deposits, selective polishing, flossing, and sodium fluoride treatments if teeth are present when indicated.

  • Oral hygiene evaluation (assessment of plaque and calculus)
  • Assessment of peri-implant and gingival soft tissues, probing depth
  • Presence of bleeding on probing, exudate/suppuration
  • Mobility of the implant or prosthetic components
  • Clinical and Radiographic evaluation of implant and prosthetic structures
  • Assessment of bone levels

Q: What areas are clinicians scaling during implant debridement?

+ Clinicians are scaling surfaces that can accumulate deposits and harbor bacteria. This includes the peri-implant space above and below the gumline. The dental hygienist will scale with light pressure to prevent trauma to the delicate peri-implant gums.