Fixed restorations supported by dental implants have provided the edentulous population with an alternative to removable dentures. Depending on the availability of tissue and bone, these restorations may include a full arch bridge or denture supported by 4, 6, or 8 implants.
Although fixed restorations offer many benefits for the edentulous population there are often anatomical challenges that can make home care in many cases seem impossible. To prevent inflammation and disease from occurring, dental biofilm needs to be controlled in all aspects of the restoration and tissue surrounded the dental implants. This includes the gingival sulcus or “gumline”, in between the implants, and the restoration itself. Luckily there are a variety of specialty brushes designed with the implant patient in mind.
Here are my Top Must Haves Brushes for patients with full arch fixed restorations:
1. For accessing the gum line: the Implant Orthodontic brush by TePe or the Implant Clean Brush by Implant & Perio Care are brushes specifically designed with the implant patient in mind. These brushes have extra slim brush heads with a thin row of bristles designed for maximum access into small crevices including the space between the restoration and gum tissue.
2. Cleaning in-between: interdental brushes come in different designs, shapes and sizes and so do the spaces that can be found in between your implants and restorations. These brushes offer an alternative to dental floss, but can also be used in conjunction with floss and/or water flossers. In spaces narrow to wide, interdental brushes offer an easy and effective way to achieve daily “in between” cleaning.
3. A brush for the restoration: there are a variety of toothbrushes available over the counter for natural teeth, but what about the patient with implant supported dentures? Regular toothbrushes typically have small diameter heads which may not provide enough surface coverage for your fixed denture. The Radius Original brush is designed with a wide oval supersized brush head offering 3x more bristles for for a superior cleaning.
Shavonne Healy, MSDH, RDH, ICP is a registered dental hygienist and implant care practitioner at Kazemi Oral Surgery & Dental Implants