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Dental Implants: Self-Care and Complications

Keeping plaque levels to a minimum is just as crucial to the health of your implants as it is for your natural teeth. Following these steps will help you avoid problems:

  • Brush twice daily, paying special attention to the gum line.

  • Use specially designed interproximal brushes for cleaning between the implants.

  • Use end-tufted brushes for cleaning around the implant neck at the gum line.

  • Use an antimicrobial mouth rinse, such as chlorhexidine, as prescribed by your dentist.

  • See your dentist every three to six months for a professional cleaning and checkup.

The success rate for modern implants is very good. Data from long-term clinical trials have shown success rates of more than 95 percent at the end of five years and 90 percent after 10 years.

Implants fail for two major reasons. First, if the bone does not adhere to the titanium screw, the implant will come loose and must be removed. This failure can be caused by trauma during the surgery, infection, or the installation of replacement teeth before the bone has completely healed around the implant base. The second major source of problems is infection that occurs in the gum tissue surrounding the implant. Such an infection can usually be cleared up with antibiotics.

 

Source: Dental Health for Adults: A Guide to Protecting Your Teeth and Gums. Copyright © by Harvard University. All rights reserved.

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