For patients who are missing one or more of their natural teeth, dental implants represent the premier method of tooth replacement. By securing a dental crown, dental bridge, or even a full set of dentures to dental implants, patients can restore full form, function, and health to their mouths once again. They can regain their ability to bite, chew, speak, and smile with ease and confidence. Implant-supported restorations truly are the next best thing to having a mouth full of your own healthy, intact teeth.
It is important, however, to know how to care for your implant-supported restorations once they are in place. While the restorations attached to your implants will eventually need to be replaced, they can last for a decade or longer with proper care. The titanium implant posts – the dental implants, themselves – can last for decades or even a lifetime, however. Proper at-home oral hygiene and regular trips to the dentist’s office can go a long way when it comes to caring for dental implants.
For the most part, caring for dental implants is similar to caring for natural teeth; however, flossing can be a somewhat tricky matter. This is why Dr. Kalil Abide discusses the issue of dental implants and flossing in detail during consultations at his Jackson, MS cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry practice. He wants his dental implant patients to know precisely what to expect before committing to dental implant surgery.
Are dental implants right for you? To find out, schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Kalil Abide at Harmony Dental Care today.
Floss with Care When You Have Dental Implants
When you floss around a natural tooth, you are able to push the floss into the gum pocket without damaging your gums. This is because the gums adhere strongly to the tooth via the periodontal ligament. In addition to being extremely strong, this ligament contains nerves that will signal to you if you push too hard in the form of pain.
The gums do not attach to a dental implant via a periodontal ligament. Rather, they attach through a much weaker seal called a peri-implant seal. This seal is not supplied with nerves and will not provide you with any pain signals if it is broken, which can be done very easily. When it is broken, bacteria will enter the gum pocket and access the jawbone. Remember that the fusion between the jawbone and the dental implant is essential to the success of your dental implants. If bacteria are allowed to access the bone, the bone can be damaged, and the fusion can be undone. This can lead to dental implant failure and, ultimately, the loss of your dental implant.
Therefore, flossing around dental implants should be done with extreme caution. You should never push the floss down into the gum pocket. If you fear that you lack the ability to floss around the restoration without disturbing the peri-implant seal, it is best simply not to floss around the implant at all.
Thorough brushing, however, is an absolute must, albeit with gentle force.
Learn More about Dental Implants and Flossing
To learn more about dental implants and flossing, please contact Harmony Dental Care.