What Are Dental Implants?
They are tooth-shaped titanium metal posts that replace the roots of missing teeth. Implants for teeth are made to mimic natural teeth in appearance and sturdiness, creating a permanent solution for tooth loss.
The process of getting dental implants requires surgery. An oral surgeon will make an incision on your gums and drill your jawbone to place the metal post. Such a procedure will require downtime for your jaw and gums to heal properly as the titanium metal post integrates with your jawbone. The process takes about three months to make a full recovery. After that, your dentist near you will have you return to the dental office for a procedure to crown the dental implant.
Infections on Dental Implants
Peri-implantitis is the term that refers to infections surrounding a dental implant. The infection causes swelling of the gum and bone tissue supporting an oral implant. Given the downtime between your treatment to receiving dental implants, there are loopholes for catching an infection. Many factors can cause infections after dental implants, including the following:
- Poor oral hygiene – keeping a clean mouth is paramount after oral surgery. You cannot allow bacteria to breed in your mouth and prey on your implant wound. Your oral surgeon will be very firm about keeping up with proper oral hygiene as you heal from the surgery.
- Smoking – your implant dentist should tell you about the changes you need to make in your lifestyle choices to support the healing process after getting implants. Smoking soon after your implant surgery increases your risk of infection.
- Allergic reaction to the implant – although it is very rare, some patients can have an allergic response to the metal implant. It is uncommon since titanium is biocompatible, integrating naturally with bone tissue.
- Compromised immune system – our dental experts at Universal Dental prioritize general body health before implantation surgery. The goal is to ensure you do not have any chronic underlying health problems. When your immune system is compromised, your body will not heal as quickly as it should, leaving room for infections.
- Misaligned bite – is an orthodontic problem where the upper and lower jaws do not close correctly. You could have either a crossbite, underbite, or overbite. A misaligned bite places unnecessary pressure on a portion of your jawbone, causing immense dental pain. After getting a tooth implant, the pain from an improper bite could worsen, leading to an infection.
How Do You Clean Implants?
Keeping your mouth clean after an implantation surgery is paramount. Much as you must be careful not to disrupt the healing process of your implant wound, neglecting oral hygiene is not an option. It will only increase the risk of infection, as mentioned above. Some tips to help you clean your dental implants are:
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush – during the first three months of recovery, ensure you change your toothbrush to a soft one. The bristles should not be too abrasive to tamper with the implant site.
- Use a water flosser – dental flossing is paramount, whether for your natural teeth or the dental implant placements in Universal City, TX. A water flosser is an oral irrigator that targets the hard-to-reach areas of your mouth to dislodge any food particles and bacteria to a depth of up to 6mm. The flosser will be much better than a standard dental floss, especially since your gums will still be tender and sensitive from the procedure.
- Brush your teeth at least twice every day – typically in the morning when you wake up and at night before you go to bed.
- Change your toothpaste – your dentist in 78148 should recommend a less abrasive toothpaste that will still be effective for cleaning your mouth. The toothpaste you choose should not have baking soda or stain-remover agents, which are elements that may tamper with the porcelain of the implant crowning. The best solution is to find a toothpaste specially made for cleaning implant teeth.
- Use a crown and bridge floss – is a dental floss specially made for cleaning dental crowns and dental bridges, with unique coverage for scrubbing under and around the crowning of your implants.