Dental implants are an important investment in living a long and healthy life for anyone with missing teeth. But how can you protect your investment? There are two key roles that must be fulfilled to keep your dental implants and teeth healthy for years to come and protect your investment:
Team dentists roles:
- Precise placement of dental implant by the surgeon: Implants must be placed in correct position to create proper function and aesthetics as well as make them easy to clean. Bone grafting may be necessary to support the implants and allow the surgeon to properly align the implants.
- Use premium dental implants: We recommend use of only well researched and recognized dental implants. There are many cheaper ‘copy’ implants that lack evidence and long term studies. Many dentists offering ‘discounted’ implants may be using such copy implants. Patients should always ask which implant brand is being used.
- Use custom abutments: The abutment is the component that is attached to the implant and supports the crown or the prosthesis. Always ask for custom abutments because they provide the proper form for desired aesthetics, function, and cleaning. Many dentists may use stock abutments to save on cost but rarely give good results.
- Precise restoration of implants by the restorative dentist: The crown, bridge, or denture placed on the implants must be precisely fabricated by an experienced restorative dentist and checked for proper fit. The bite should be checked with adjustments as necessary.
- Use of a good lab with quality components and materials: The quality of the work done by a laboratory is an extremely important part of long term success. The precision of fit and aesthetic properties of the finished prosthesis can vary from lab to lab.
- Effective flossing and brushing: Hygiene for maintenance of implants is just as important as natural teeth. Your dentist can show you effective techniques to keep your implants plaque free and avoid gum disease (implantitis)
- Use of a night guard: If you are a bruxer or grind your teeth, your dentist may recommend a night guard. It’s critical that you use your night guard to avoid excessive forces on crowns that can cause chipping or loosening.
- No ‘bottle cap’ usage: Limit your teeth to chewing food, not opening bottle caps, loosening a knot, or contact with any hard material. Both enamel and porcelain can fracture easily.
- Check up and cleaning every three to six months: Professional check up and cleaning is imperative to keeping your teeth and implants healthy. Depending on your specific needs, you need to visit your dentist every three to six months.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking has a direct inhibition on disease fighting immunoglobulins in your saliva. It is best to avoid smoking all together. If it is not for your teeth, certainly for your health.