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IMPLANT HOME CARE

Daily care and regular exams and cleanings will help your implant last a lifetime

   Implants may require more home care than your natural teeth. 

      They need to be cleaned about every twelve hours to remove plaque and tartar to avoid gum disease.  It is important that you know the location/ locations of where you implant/implants are located in your mouth.  This will help you in maintaining good home care.

Always use a soft toothbrush, follow toothbrush techniques.  Cleaning techniques for implants will vary placed on the kind of implant you have:

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Single implant crown is similar to brushing and flossing a natural tooth.  Interproximal brushes covered with plastic coated wire are good to use if you have difficultly flossing an implant in the back of your mouth.

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Removable denture you have direct access to your implant abutment.  Effective cleaning of the abutment surface, ball attachment and ridge bare can be done with a soft brush, End tuft brush or Interproximal brush. Brush the inside, outside and around the gums and abutments. Chlorhexidine rinse can be placed to the abutment with a tufted floss.  Your removable prosthesis is to be cleaned daily with a nylon denture brush.

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Upper and lower fixed prosthesis require dedicated home care due to some areas that may be hard to reach.  You need to  rinse your mouth or use a water pick (oral irrigation system) with either Chlorhexidine or BreathRx twice a day.  Powered toothbrushes, oral irrigation, tufted floss attached to threaders will help you keep this area clean.  If you have a fixed lower denture an end tuft brush can be bent to a right angle and used to gain access to the tongue side and underneath surface of the denture.  Your twice daily routine will include:
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Using proxybrush to clean around the implant abutments.

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Use a Water Pik oral irrigation system twice daily.

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Use an electric toothbrush.

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Floss twice a day.

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Mouthwash with an antibacterial, alcohol free, non-staining like BreathRx

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Fixed prosthetic teeth clean as thoroughly as you would your own teeth.

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It is import to identify homecare obstacles and discuss these with your dentist.  Together you can gain strategies, skills and support to overcome these obstacles.  Ask for help to encourage you to maintain  motivation to keep these areas clean.

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Visit your dentist:
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Exam-to update health history and review current medications and their impact on your health .  This exam will see how well the prosthesis fits in your mouth, make any repairs and clean the abutments and at the same time the stability of the anchors and the health of your gums and jaw will be checked.

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A panoramic x-ray is to be done yearly for the first five years after placement and than biannually there after in order to obtain a good record to assess your implant health.  Bone loss of 1.5 mm is normal in the first year of placement**.

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Removal of any deposits of calculus should be removed with  instruments that do not scratch the softer titanium implant abutment.

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Professional cleanings every 3-4 months for the first year after placement and every 6 months after that. The implant surface will be cleaned and polished with a nonabrasive toothpaste.

Make sure you clean and floss your abutments twice a day*

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*Picture from Bulter

**Implant Maintenance. Paula Harris RDH, Hygiene Report pages 8-11, June 2004.  Professionals try Dentsply Prisma Gloss or Nupro Shimmer polish.  Use plastic, resin, graphite and gold tipped scalers/plastic coated or tipped ultrasonic and sonic instrument and nonabrasive pastes for titanium abutments.

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PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only.  It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of dental/medical care and is not a substitute for personal hands on dental/medical attention, diagnosis or treatment.  Persons requiring diagnosis, treatment, or with specific questions are urged to contact your family dental/health care provider for appropriate care.
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