November 19, 2018
One of the most frequent questions dental implant patients ask is, “How do I take care of them?” In this article, Cunning Dental Group addresses maintenance concerns, including how to determine if you have an infected dental implant.
Before we discuss care, let us first understand the essence of dental implants. These surgical components replace missing teeth, including roots, bridges, and crowns. They play a role in maintaining excellent jaw bone health and help prolong the life of any remaining natural teeth. Dental implants can replace a complete set of upper and lower teeth, a row of teeth, or a single tooth.
Dental Implants video (click video to play)
Careful preparation increases the chances of successful dental implant surgery. For example, if your dentist announces the need for dental implants, it is normal to feel anxious or stressed by the prospect of surgery. Talking to your dentist and understanding the procedure may help alleviate your worries. He or she can even explain the use of intravenous sedation if suitable for your case.
When your dentist schedules you for implant surgery, inform them beforehand about any medication you are using, including anticoagulants (blood thinners). Your dentist can help write a prescription, in which your physician can review and use as a reference to altering your dose.
Last, ask your dental care provider about medications you can take before the operation. The intake of prescription painkillers and antibiotics before surgery can aid in reducing your discomfort and risk of infection.
To lower your risk of implant failure and ensure a faster recovery, follow these tips:
It is important to note that, in most cases, swelling and discomfort subside within days after the operation. However, the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics notes that initial healing from dental implant surgery takes anywhere between a week to 10 days.
Healing varies per patient. On average, it takes nine months or as soon as six weeks for the gums and jaw bone to heal completely and adjust to the dental implant. A patient who experiences prolonged soreness in the gums should maintain a diet of soft foods to help reduce discomfort. If pain and sensitivity persist, contact your dentist.
Dental implant care extends beyond the recovery period. Daily brushing and flossing, together with routine visits to the dentist are essential to maintain the implants' pristine appearance and to reduce the possibility of complications.
Research from the University of Gothenburg showed that out of 4,716 participants with dental implants, 14.5 percent had developed an infection. Peri-implantitis is the most common, a form of periodontal (gum) disease that can lead to bone loss, decay, inflammation, and implant failure. A bacterial growth can occur immediately after implantation, sometimes months or years later. Further, if your dentist did not use titanium dental implants, an infection can arise due to the use of poor quality materials.
The tissue around the implant should always appear pink, firm, and keratinized with no signs of infection. If you have dental implants and suspect something is amiss, look for the following signs:
Good oral hygiene is essential before, during, and after placement of dental implants. Fortunately, maintaining them requires the same approach as caring for natural teeth. As long as you brush after every meal, floss once daily, rinse, and entrust your dental health to a reputable dentist, you can look forward to a lifetime of healthy teeth and picture-perfect smiles.
Contact Cunning Dental Group in California if you are experiencing one or more of the above symptoms. We diagnose oral infections quickly and comfortably with a clinical exam and radiograph. Depending on the level of infection, we may prescribe special rinses or offer a combination of other treatments to try and save your implant.
Infected dental implants can lead to a severe case of oral damage if left untreated. If saving the implant is no longer an option, we can minimize your risk of future infections by replacing them with one of better quality. Improve the function and beauty of your smile today. Call (855) 328-6646 or complete our online form to schedule an appointment.