How Should I Care for My Dental Implants After the Procedure?
Dental implants are one of the most effective and longest-lasting solutions for restoring a complete, functional, and beautiful smile by replacing one or more missing or damaged teeth. Although dental implants and the restorations attached to them can last for decades or even longer, appropriate care and maintenance are critical for maintaining the integrity of your implants and implant-supported restorations.
At Dr. Matrullo & Associates in Cranston, RI, our experienced team of dental providers performs a wide range of restorative dentistry treatments and procedures, including the placement of dental implants and restorations, to help patients regain the confidence, comfort, and complete smile they deserve. Keep reading to learn more about caring for your dental implants over time.
Who needs dental implants?
Dental implants are the titanium screws that are surgically inserted beneath the gums and into the jawbone, replacing a natural tooth root. A custom restoration, like a dental crown or bridge, is attached to the implant after it has fully integrated with the bone, which can take six months or longer in some cases. It is important to understand the difference between an implant (the screw) and a restoration (the crown, bridge, or dentures) when understanding proper aftercare techniques and terminology.
Some common situations when dental implants may be recommended include:
- Missing tooth or teeth
- Tooth knocked out
- Severely decayed tooth
- Damaged tooth
How long do dental implants last?
The dental implants themselves — meaning the metal screws to which a restoration is attached — can often last for a lifetime. The restorations, which replace the visible portion of the tooth, can also last for many years or even decades. If damaged or compromised, an implant-supported restoration can typically be replaced without altering the implant itself. However, there are some essential things patients should understand when it comes to caring for their implant and restorations to prevent damage and other unwanted complications. Helpful tips for dental implant care include:
- Brush and floss twice daily
- Use mouthwash for rinsing as directed
- Keep your biannual dental exam and cleaning appointments
- Do not smoke or use nicotine, including tobacco
- Wear an athletic mouthguard and/or dental night guard as recommended
Additionally, these tips can help to preserve the dental restorations attached to your implants:
- Do not bite your nails
- Do not use teeth to cut strings, open packages, etc.
- Minimize consumption of staining foods and beverages (rinse after)
- Avoid crunchy, gummy, sticky, or overly hard foods
With these healthy choices and appropriate care habits, your dental implants and implant-supported restorations can set you up for many years, decades, or even a lifetime enjoying your strong, healthy, functional new smile.
Create or restore your dream smile with advanced implant dentistry in Cranston, RI
Whether your teeth have become damaged or decayed over time and you are in need of multiple implants — or you have recently experienced a trauma that left you with a missing adult tooth — you may benefit from the placement of dental implants and restorations. For more information on your options for dental implants in Cranston, RI, call Dr. Matrullo & Associates to schedule a consultation with one of our esteemed providers today.