Regular Checkups for Dental Implants
Dental implants are wonderful inventions that have helped many people get a smile they can be proud of. However, there is some maintenance that comes with dental implants, and careful monitoring of the implant is necessary throughout the life of the replacement. Visiting your dentist for regular appointments after dental implant placement is necessary to monitor for any signs of implant failure. Early detection and treatment is usually less invasive than delayed treatment. To keep implants healthy, your doctor may recommend routine cleanings, o-ring changes and annual X-rays.
While those with implant-supported dentures may feel that dental cleanings are no longer needed, this is not necessarily true. Dental implants can accumulate plaque and calculus just as the natural teeth can, so it is important that a dentist or hygienist remove this tartar on a regular basis. Excess plaque accumulation around implants can cause infection or eventual implant failure.
For those with an overdenture, also known as an implant-retained denture, there are dental o rings that attach to the implants that sometimes need to be changed. These o-rings can become worn with natural chewing forces by the denture and should be evaluated by your dentist at each appointment.
Taking an X-ray of the implant area may be necessary to ensure that the implant is fusing to the bone correctly. The X-ray can be invaluable to the dentist in determining if the implant is successful or failing. Regular X-rays can also show any changes in the bone structure around the implant from year to year.
Maintaining a dental implant is just as important as maintaining a natural tooth. If you have had implants placed but are not sure what to do next, schedule an appointment with your dentist to find out how often you need recall visits to check the status of your oral health.