Caring for Your Smile: Maintenance Suggestions for Full Arch Dental Implants

full arch dental implants

Suppose you’ve suffered the struggles of remaining toothless for a long time and are finally getting full arch dental implants. In that case, it’s very natural for you to be consumed in the excitement and happiness of regaining your smile! However, amidst this excitement, patients need to remember that their new smile comes with a new responsibility too – the responsibility to maintain and care for it.

Like every dental treatment, full-mouth dental implants also require proper maintenance. Hence, every implant recipient should educate himself on the best practices for maintaining their implants, so that their new teeth will last as long as they want them to.

In this blog, we’ll give you helpful tips to maintain your full arch dental implants.

What Are Full Arch Dental Implants?

Let’s begin our discussion by understanding what full arch dental implants are, as it’ll help us gain a deeper insight into how to maintain them.

Full arch dental implants, also known as full mouth dental implants, are a popular (and extremely effective) method of replacing missing teeth. They’re most suitable for patients who suffer from complete loss of teeth. Such people may have complete tooth loss in both of their dental arches (upper and lower arches) or in any one of the dental arches. Whatever the case may be, the treatment in question gives them a perfect way of replacing “all” their missing teeth, giving them a “full arch” dental reconstruction.

It’s an innovative approach to treating tooth loss, involving the surgical placement of dental implants into the patient’s jawbone, which then act as anchors for a set of artificial teeth (denture). These permanent teeth are securely fixed to the implants in your jaw by means of abutments present on the implants, giving you a stable, reliable, and durable replacement for all of your lost teeth.

But how reliable and durable are implants ‘exactly’, if one may ask? A study that analyzed the long-term success and survival rate of implants revealed that implants have a survival rate of up to 94% (recorded over a period of 15 years). This means that, depending on the age you get implants at, your implants can even last you a lifetime!

Maintenance Suggestions For Full Arch Dental Implants

We’ve just discussed the incredibly impressive success and survival rates of dental practice. However, implant success and survival don’t come by default – proper care and maintenance play a huge part in it. The following are some maintenance suggestions for full arch dental implants to help you extend your implant life to the maximum:

Implant Cleaning And Oral Hygiene Tips

The most integral part of your implant maintenance is keeping your implants and their environment (i.e. your mouth) clean, as both are interconnected, and neglecting any one of them would inevitably result in the neglect of the other. 

A study that explored the oral care efforts of a group of implant recipients showed that many of them practiced below-adequate quality oral care simply because they weren’t instructed about the proper way of caring for their implants. This resulted in them having large quantities of plaque, calculus, and other teeth-damaging substances in their mouth. After proper instruction, however, their oral care habits improved, which had a positive impact on their implant health.

Maintaining optimal oral hygiene is definitely more challenging for implant patients than for people with natural teeth, but the long-term benefits of implants are worth all the effort you put into maintaining them. The following are some must-do oral care tips for cleaning your implants and ensuring overall oral hygiene:

  • Brushing: Diligently brush your dentures at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a non-abrasive toothpaste. Make sure to brush off all the visible plaque and food particles.
  • Flossing: Use good quality floss (aided by a floss threader) to reach beyond your denture base, all the way to your gums and the embedded implant abutments. Floss this area thoroughly after each meal. These sites are very prone to plaque and food accumulation and can only be accessed with a floss. 
  • Water-Flossing: If you’re uncomfortable with regular floss and feel like they’re too harsh on your gums, then use a water flosser instead. The steady streams of water emitting from a water flosser will enter the tiny spaces between your denture and implants and ward off the hidden plaque and accumulated food there.
  • Tongue Scraping: Use the back part of your toothbrush, or better still, use a tongue scraper to thoroughly clean your tongue every night. Your tongue comes in frequent contact with food every day, so it’s inevitable for it to accumulate plaque, which can contribute to bad breath if not cleaned.
  • Mouthwash: Using a good quality antibacterial mouthwash will be a cherry on top for your implant care routine. It will freshen up your breath and keep harmful bacteria away from implants, giving you added protection from potential implant infections. 

Implant Protection Tips

Implant maintenance is not just limited to implant cleaning and proper oral hygiene – it also involves protecting your implants from damage (occurring from intraoral or extraoral sources). Following are some tips on how to provide the optimal protection to your implants to help them last long:

  • Avoid Teeth Grinding: Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth, as doing so exerts unnecessary pressure on your implants, which can be extremely detrimental for them. If you suffer from a teeth-grinding condition (such as Bruxism), then wear a professionally made, customized night guard to protect your implants from damage.
  • Quit Smoking: Smoking is one of the leading contributing causes of dental implant failure and periodontitis (gum disease). Quit smoking to ensure your implants stay healthy and infection-free. 
  • Take a Healthy And Implant Appropriate Diet: Consume a diet rich in vitamins and minerals (especially calcium and vitamin D) to support your jawbone health, which is extremely necessary for implant retention. Also, avoid eating hard food as it can damage your dentures and/or implants.
  • Avoid Contact Sports: Avoid activities (such as engaging in contact sports) that may potentially damage your dentures or implants.
  • Careful Monitoring: Lastly, keep monitoring your implants for any signs of implant infections (including mobility, swelling, bleeding, pain, etc.) and report them to your dentist as soon as possible.

Conclusion 

Maintaining full arch dental implants is extremely essential to ensure that your new teeth remain functional and healthy for many years. To best maintain your implants you should follow a proper implant cleaning and oral hygiene routine. It’s also crucial for you to protect your implants from all sorts of potential damage (coming from different sources within and outside the mouth) as part of your implant maintenance efforts.

If you need more details on the full arch dental implant treatment, then book a FREE consultation with Houston Implant Clinic, a premium dental practice based in Houston, Texas. Our team of implant experts will equip you with the best professional insights about this treatment, covering every detail from implant placement procedure to maintenance strategies.


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