Imagine you are at the stadium watching the Nittany Lions march toward victory – when suddenly, you see yourself on the big screen during a break in the action! Smile and wave! If you recently got dental implants in State College to fill in gaps in your teeth, you will likely feel comfortable showing off your new and improved smile. Your next task after successful dental implant treatment is to keep your new teeth healthy. Look no further: here are 3 important tips for caring for dental implants in State College.
#1: Say No to Tobacco
You probably already know that tobacco use is bad for your general health, but did you know that it can increase the risk of dental implant failure?
Successful dental implant treatment relies on a process called osseointegration, in which a titanium rod that mimics the natural tooth root fuses with the bone in the jaw. This key process is how dental implants provide stable, long-term support to a new crown or bridge.
However, the nicotine in tobacco reduces blood flow and can make it harder for your body to heal, including after oral surgery. Chewing or smoking tobacco can prevent successful fusion between a dental implant and jawbone tissue, which can lead to implants falling out or becoming so loose they must be removed.
#2: Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Cleaning dental implants is very similar to caring for natural teeth, which means you should diligently brush both twice a day for two full minutes each time. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and be sure to thoroughly brush each side of your dental implant, including the outer, inner and chewing surfaces. In addition, don’t forget to floss at least once day – especially after meals, when bits of food may be stuck between your teeth and your dental implant.
3#: See the Dentist Regularly
The final important step to keep both your dental implants and natural teeth healthy is to follow the advice of the American Dental Association and see a State College dentist every six months for a routine checkup. If you have a dental implant, a biannual dental exam is an opportunity for the dentist to:
- Assess the health of your implant by measuring the surrounding gums
- Check and compare X-rays of your teeth and dental implant
- Inspect the dental implant for any looseness
- Examine your bite
- Confirm that all components attached an implant are functioning properly
With proper care, dental implants can be a long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing solution for filling the gaps in a smile. Just follow the 3 tips above for a healthy and whole smile that will last for many years to come!
About the Author
Dr. Chris Devlin first came to State College as a student-athlete and helped lead the Penn State University football team to a historic undefeated season in 1973. Today, the Pennsylvania native remains a pillar of the community in his role as a dental professional, helping students and residents alike achieve and maintain healthy smiles. For more information regarding restorative dentistry, visit Dr. Devlin’s website or call the office at 814-238-3553.