Dental implants are one of the most important dental care advancements of the 21st Century, but many patients are still unaware of their extraordinary benefits. To help you keep your patients informed of this exciting breakthrough, Sunstar has prepared information that explains implants in simple, understandable terms. Distribute this information to your patients as you see fit.
Dental implants are one of the greatest advancements in dentistry. Dental implants have the capability to serve as substitutes for natural tooth roots. These devices fit into the jaw bone and are considered both safe and effective to support dentures, caps or crowns and fixed bridges. These implants are not new. The ancient Egyptians utilized the implant, making their implants out of jade, sapphire and ivory.
Implants are made of a special metal called titanium that is compatible with the bone of the jaw. In fact, this bone likes titanium so much that it actually fuses with the implant. The implant is a small post that protrudes from the gum tissue. Several of these may be placed based on the amount of space that needs to be filled. Crowns or bridges are placed on top of these implants. Your family dentist and dental hygienist are part of a group of specialists that form the implant team. These team members, in conjunction with a periodontist, maxillofacial surgeon or other specialist, will decide if you are a good candidate for an implant.
Implant placement usually takes a number of appointments over a three-month period of time. Two surgeries are commonly required: one to place the implant into the bone and one to uncover the top of the implant. Then the general dentist will place the prosthesis on the implant. Once the implant is complete, you can start using it immediately with no discomfort. Implants have a 95% or better success rate. This success rate is based upon the patient's ability to provide excellent home care of the implant. Implants require immaculate plaque removal. With superior brushing and flossing, your implant can last a lifetime.
Several types of cleaning aids are used for the dental implant. A soft, multi-tufted, end-rounded toothbrush is used for general gum brushing. Brushes for use in between the teeth are called interproximal brushes. These brushes look similar to miniature Christmas trees and are coated in plastic to make sure the stem does not scratch the implant post. Metal objects such as pipe cleaners, safety pins, hard brushes, or paper clips will permanently scratch the dental implant, which allows the implant to harbor bacteria and may cause infection and implant loss. If the implant prosthesis is removable, it will also need to be cleaned daily with a soft toothbrush.
Flossing is best accomplished with special floss that is designed for dental implants, such as Butler® PostCare® Implant Flossing Aid.
Your dental implant follow-up visits will be every three months depending on your dental professional. The purpose is to check and make sure your home care is excellent and there are no problems with the implant. Patients are advised to see their dental professional if there is any sensitivity, bleeding, or mobility with the placed implant. With daily care, your dental implant could last a lifetime.