Remember, dentistry is not
expensive... Neglect is!
Introduction by Heidi Trautmann
To continue our professional advice series Dr. Oguz Ozan
will here speak about Dental Care which in my opinion is not only valid for the
implanting process but for all times just as it does not suffice to buy a new
robe, you have to keep it in good condition. When you have decided to undergo
an implantation you have also taken a decision for improving your life, to
regain your joy of life, and to find yourself nice when you look into the
mirror and smile.
CARING FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS
OZAN DDS, PhD (Prosthodontist, Dental implantologist)
Near East University Faculty of Dentistry Department of Prosthodontics
Good oral hygiene is very crucial in caring of the dental implant
retained restorations. It takes special effort to maximize plaque bacteria
removal every day. This means along with regular dental visits, appropriate
care like brushing properly, flossing regularly, and cleaning the spaces
between the existing teeth with an interdental brush is very important. It is
also advised to use antibacterial toothpaste to minimize the bacterial plaque
by continuing to kill plaque bacteria after brushing.
oral hygiene can lead to the loss of implants. It is
very important to perform good oral hygiene and implant care to avoid complications
that could result in implant failure since a lot of time and money was spent to
have an implant retained restoration. In addition, if one implant is lost there
is no guarantee that a new one can be placed again in the same area because if
the inflammation around the implant is left untreated, it may result in a bone
loss that makes it difficult to find enough bone tissue for a new dental
implant in the same area.
One of the prerequisites for an optimal care of dental implants
and for oral hygiene and maintenance after the delivery of the prosthesis is to
stop habits that are counterproductive, for example smoking. Smoking is one of
the greatest risks for implant-related complications. Therefore patients are
strongly recommended to try to quit smoking for reducing the risk of
attention to the oral hygiene, not only during
all steps of the dental implant treatment but also after the delivery of the
prosthesis is crucially important for the survival of the dental implants. Maximizing
plaque removal every day through effective tooth brushing and flossing is also
very important. In addition to prevent plaque build-up, antibacterial mouth
rinses are also recommended by the dental professionals.
removing as much plaque bacteria as possible from between teeth and around the
implant flossing has to be done. Flossing can be done at any step during the
implant process which makes gums healthy and reduces plaque bacteria in the
interdental spaces (the gap between teeth or implants). For desired removal of the bacteria plaque from
the interdental spaces interdental brushes can be used since a regular
toothbrush does not reach into interdental spaces. The unique design of these interdental brushes
allows the penetrating of interdental spaces and should regularly be used after
using the normal tooth brush.
appointments are also very important for the maintenance of the implant
retained restorations. In these appointments, implants, existing teeth and soft
tissues will be checked and new x-rays will be evaluated to ensure long life of
the restoration. They are generally at intervals of 6 months but this has to be
decided by the dentist. At
these appointments, the areas which cannot be cleaned by the patient himself will
be checked and professionally cleaned if needed. Professional cleaning of
implants is more complex than cleaning existing teeth and may take longer and
require special instruments.
instead of brushing and flossing for dental implant patients?
During the healing phase of implant therapy, great care has
to be exercised to keep the area clean and with minimal bacterial exposure. For
this purpose mouthwash, brushing and flossing have to be performed to obtain
the desired oral hygiene. However, mouthwash should not replace brushing and
flossing, even the best mouthwash is not a replacement for proper brushing and
flossing. The liquid is able to flow through hard to reach surfaces as an extra
safety barrier against bacteria as brushing cleans only the cheek, tongue, and
biting surfaces of the teeth. Mouth rinsing is done to prevent tartar and
plaque, to freshen the breath, reduce gingivitis, and prevent tooth decay by
their different ingredients. Within these ingredients, antimicrobial agents (chlorhexidine)
can help reduce plaque, decrease the severity of gingivitis and thereby control
bad breath. Fluoride prevents decay by strengthening the tooth enamel.
Astringent salts and odor neutralizers can temporarily prevent the formation of
use of a mouth rinse is not recommended without visiting your dentist for
advice. For example, salt water is acidic, so it could erode the teeth if you
were to use it every day. Additionally, the chlorhexidine mouthwashes have a
residual effect, so using it for two weeks and then stopping for 3 months is as
good as using it every day.
summary, Mouth rinses do serve a lot of purposes, whether to freshen your
breath or help fight plaque and gingivitis, but, please keep in mind they
should only be used as recommended for the individual situation and should not
replace regular brushing and flossing. So do not get lazy with your toothbrush
and dental floss!
by Heidi Trautmann: Dr. Oğuz OZAN can be contacted at Near East University Nicosia, Faculty of Dentistry, Tel. +90 680 2030 /2640