Although Implant-supported replacement teeth are not subject to decay, some maintenance and home care are required to prevent inflammation of the gums. Daily oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing is important for controlling the bacterial biofilm that can accumulate on the crowns or prostheses. The restorative dentist or the hygienist may also recommend other special brushes or tools to keep the replacement teeth and implant attachments clean.
Periodic visits for the hygienist to clean the natural and implant-supported teeth are important. The hygienist will use special instruments to clean the dental implants and attachments that will not damage the metal surfaces beneath the gums.
The dentist will examine the surrounding gum tissue and review x-rays to ensure that the gums and bone are maintained and healthy. The dentist will also make sure that the implant-supported replacement teeth are functioning properly and securely attached, as it is possible for the screws retaining the replacement teeth to loosen over time.
Some surgical specialists recommend that patients return annually for an evaluation and x-rays to make sure that the bone is healthy and the implants are stable. This will vary depending upon the maintenance protocols established by the surgical specialist and the restorative dentist as a team.