Dental Implant Aftercare
With good oral health care, our Bedford patients should expect a long life from their dental implants.
As we discussed in an earlier blog, dental implants are increasingly being acknowledged as the best method for replacing a missing tooth, or teeth.
There can, however, be some misunderstanding about how they should be looked after. Neglecting this area though may lead to problems and possibly even premature failure of the implants.
In today’s post, we take a look at the role of the patient in ensuring that their dental implant placement remains healthy, secure and long lasting.
Looking after your newly place dental implant starts as soon as you leave our Bedford dental clinic. You will be instructed on how to take care of it and what to do ongoing to maintain it in good condition – please follow this closely.
It should be remembered that, for the first three months or so, your implants will be subject to a process known as osseointegration. This is an important period of time as it is where the bone and the implant bond, giving the implant its strength and security. Good oral health care is essential during this time but you should also take care of what you eat. This will not only help the implant, but make the period immediately after the procedure more comfortable too.
We generally advise that a soft food diet is followed in the period after the procedure. Yoghurts and thin soups are ideal for this time. Over time, you can gradually build this up, moving on to slightly harder foods. It is important not to rush this progress though, as moving quickly to very hard foods could potentially cause damage to the area of the procedure. Once this period is complete, and your implant fully integrated, you will be able to eat as normal.
Because dental implants are made from titanium, there can be an inclination to think that, because decay is no longer an issue, cleaning around the implant can largely be forgotten. Nothing could be further from the truth though, and neglecting cleaning in this area is asking for trouble. The predominant cause of tooth loss in the UK is gum disease, and dental implants are at an equal, if not slightly higher, risk of being affected by this common problem. As we will be discovering in future blogs, gum disease is relatively easy to avoid and treat in its early stage but prevention is always better than cure!
Failure to brush and clean around the new dental implant, using dental floss or an interdental brush, increases the risk of gum disease occurring. Where is does, and becomes advances, this can eventually attack the bone in which the implant is placed. The bone will then start to degrade and may lose its firm grip on the implant, causing it to become loose and potentially fall out.
Following the simple advice above, along with regular supervision by our Bedford implant dentists, there is no reason why your new dental implant shouldn’t have a long and healthy life.
For more information on dental implants, please call The Dental Centre Bedford on 01234 819868.