Going through the process of having dental implant surgery creates a huge investment. You need to properly maintain implants through the years to make the most of this investment.
There are some important care tips you should be conscious of and pay attention to so that you avoid complications and maximize the lifespan of your dental implants. The following are five care tips to keep in mind so that your implants remain in good shape:
Watching eating habits while healing to avoid problematic foods
The first thing you need to do right after your procedure is start watching your diet and avoid problematic foods. While eventually you will heal completely and be able to eat whatever you want, at first you're going to want to limit your diet somewhat.
Foods that you'll want to avoid while you're healing include very hot foods as well as foods that may get stuck in healing implants like popcorn and nuts. You probably will also want to avoid certain beverages while healing, including alcoholic beverages and hot beverages like coffee.
Having annual dental exams that include x-rays
Don't assume that dental x-rays aren't important anymore once you have dental implants put in place. While dental implants can't develop cavities like ordinary teeth, they can develop other types of damage that can only be detected by x-ray, like bone loss beneath the implant site.
Brushing and maintaining good oral hygiene
Good oral hygiene habits are just as important with dental implants as they are with regular teeth. You need to brush on a daily basis. For dental implants, you should ideally brush with a small manual toothbrush with soft bristles or an electric brush recommended by your dentist.
In addition to brushing, you should also use an antimicrobial mouth rinse regularly and floss regularly to keep food from getting trapped around the abutments.
Kicking the habit of smoking
It's important that patients with dental implants stop smoking because smoking puts patients at greater risk of developing issues with peri-implantitis. This condition is one of the most common complications of dental implants.
With peri-implantitis, bone tissue becomes destroyed through an inflammatory process. It is a form of periodontal disease.
Patients who don't smoke or stop smoking when they get implants have a much lower chance of developing peri-implantitis.
Being aware of the signs of developing problems
The sooner you seek treatment if problems like peri-implantitis develop, the more likely it will be that you can salvage your dental implants and avoid implant failure. Symptoms of dental implant complications include gum loss, bleeding, inflammation and an unusual amount of discomfort or pain.
For more information, contact establishments like Oral Surgery Specialists of Austin.