For individuals who need to replace one or more missing teeth, dental implants are one of the most recommended treatments. Dental implants are specially made titanium posts placed in the gums and jawbone. The post is attached to a crown, bridge, or other restoration that looks like your natural teeth. Dr. Brett Cotham at All About Smiles Family & Cosmetic Dentistry uses implants as a tooth replacement option so Northwest Arkansas patients can feel confident about their new smile.
Tooth loss is generally thought of as a cosmetic issue, but it can also be debilitating in terms of inhibiting your ability to eat and speak properly. The best dental implants look and function just like natural teeth so you can comfortably eat a wide variety of foods. Not only that, implants are permanently placed into the jawline, meaning there’s no fear of your teeth shifting out of place while you are eating or talking. For all these reasons and more, patients want to make their dental implants last for years to come. To learn more about caring for your dental implants or to schedule a consultation, contact our office in Rogers, AR.
Maintaining the long-term life of implants
There are many factors that can be detrimental to the health of implants, which is why All About Smiles prepares Northwest Arkansas patients for surgery with a thorough examination. For instance, if there is not enough healthy tissue to support a dental implant, Dr. Cotham may perform a gum or bone graft first. Both of these procedures ensure that candidates have the foundation they need for a successful and long-lasting placement. Individuals with an active infection or gum (periodontal) disease will also need to have these issues treated before undergoing dental implant surgery.
Dental implants are meant to last a lifetime, but it’s up to the patient to protect their investment and take care of their new implants at home. Dr. Cotham will provide a set of instructions after surgery and review helpful tips for a seamless recovery. As soon as the implants have healed and the restoration has been attached, patients should maintain an ongoing home oral care routine. Here is a list of guidelines to keep your dental implants healthy for years to come:
1. Schedule regular checkups and cleanings. Even the best dental implants should be monitored regularly to ensure proper functioning. At All About Smiles, we suggest patients come in twice a year for an examination and cleaning appointment. It is essential to make sure the surrounding teeth and gums are free from plaque and other issues, as these can have an effect on the health of implants.
2. Brush twice a day. Brushing with a low-abrasive toothpaste and an interdental toothbrush is a great way to keep your implant and restoration clean and free from harmful bacteria. If you’re unsure how to get started, Dr. Cotham or a member of his staff can make suggestions in terms of brushing techniques and products that are safe to use for your teeth and gums.
3. Floss twice a day. There are some places a toothbrush just can’t reach, which is why flossing is a necessity. Many different types of floss exist to prevent plaque and remove food particles from between the teeth, such as waxed or unwaxed and flavored or unflavored. A more advanced product, such as a water flosser, may also be helpful in your new oral care routine.
4. Consider a mouth rinse. An over-the-counter or antimicrobial mouth rinse reduces certain bacteria that cause gum disease. Different products and regimens may be suggested based on your unique situation and whether you are susceptible to plaque buildup. As always, it is important to follow the recommendations given by Dr. Cotham, especially if you are showing the first signs of disease.
5. Watch out for any potential problems. Patients who experience any unusual issues should schedule an appointment with Dr. Cotham right away. This includes any discomfort or pain when biting or chewing your food, as well as red or bleeding gums. At All About Smiles, we will be able to determine the source of the problem and provide steps for restoring the health of your smile.
6. Be careful with certain foods. The best dental implants allow you to enjoy the things you love, including your favorite foods and beverages. However, foods that are hard or sticky have a tendency to impact the health of implants, including getting stuck between the teeth. To avoid this issue, be sure to chew your food thoroughly and clean your teeth and gums as often as needed.
Contact All About Smiles today
If you have a gap in your smile, it’s time to think about replacing the missing tooth. Dental implants provide more long-term value than other teeth replacement options such as temporary crowns or dentures. Many patients who enjoy the benefits of implants agree that their self-esteem and confidence have been restored. At All About Smiles Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Rogers, AR, we take pride in offering high-quality solutions so patients can achieve a bright, healthy-looking smile. Schedule your next appointment with Dr. Brett Cotham to learn about dental implants or our other procedures, including teeth whitening treatments, porcelain veneers, and crowns.