The long-term success of dental implants as well as the longevity of natural teeth depend on maintenance of high levels of oral health and dental hygiene. Dental hygiene treatment for implant patients is delivered by a specially implant-trained dental hygienist & therapist who will help to maintain the health of your periodontal (gum) structures and dental implants.
If you have your own dental hygienist, at your regular dental practice, we will work with them closely so that you can return back to their care at the end of your dental implant treatment for long term monitoring and maintenance purposes. During complex treatment, we may need to provide periodontal control by our in-house hygienist as part of implant treatment. To avoid the risk of unnoticed peri-implant/ periodontal gum disease emerging we insist that the patient sees an implant trained hygienist at regular intervals in the future.
Pre-implant periodontal assessment & control:
There is very strong scientific evidence to show that poor plaque control and existing periodontal disease are high risk factors that strongly affect the success and longevity of implant treatment. The periodontal disease is manifested with bleeding, pocketing, bone loss and gum shrinkage. Before starting implant treatment we will carefully check and control any existing periodontal disease prior to embarking on your implant treatment. The severity or extent of periodontal disease (gum disease) can sometimes be obscure and remain unnoticed even in patients who attend a hygienist for regular maintenance. Sometimes the periodontal condition can deteriorate rapidly especially in medically compromised patients such as uncontrolled diabetes.
The emerging evidence and research is increasingly indicating the role of periodontal disease in causation of systemic health problems such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
As part of preparation for implant treatment, we will assess your periodontal condition and provide a course of periodontal treatment to control any existing issues if indicated. You will then be returned back to your hygienist’s care for routine maintenance in the future. We prefer to do this as our hygienist & therapist team are specially implant trained and we work closely as a team. However, in other instances when the periodontal treatment requires just a routine scale and polish we will ask your dentist/hygienist to provide this for you as part of the implant treatment.
What to expect from a hygiene and maintenance appointment
- Your teeth and gums will be assessed to determine their periodontal condition & health using bleeding and/or plaque indices , mobility and pocket depth measurements, when appropriate, together with identification of periodontal disease risk factors (e.g. uncontrolled diabetes, smoking,inadequate plaque control, heavy grinding and clenching, and medication). As part of this assessment radiographs and xrays may be required to check the bone levels around your standing teeth.
- Your teeth will be cleaned and your periodontal structure (gum) treated with special equipment/ medication by specially implant trained hygienist & therapists. This process will also include a scale and polish but in some cases meticulous deep debridement and air polishing under local anaesthetic will be indicated. In case of advanced or severe periodontal disease you may need to receive an extended course of periodontal appointments over a few weeks to help to bring the disease process under control before embarking on implant reconstructive treatment.
- Once your implant treatment has been completed the hygienist’s role is to show you how to look after your teeth and implants so that they remain free from gum disease. We will give you instructions on how to look after and clean your implants properly. In complex full jaw reconstructions we would ask you to see our hygienist after the completion of your treatment so that you can be shown the best tooth brushing technique and plaque control measures such as flossing and using interdental brushes.
Life-long Benefits of Oral Hygiene & Maintenance:
- Securing periodontal and gum health to minimise risk of tooth loss.
- Maintaining healthy peri-implant tissue and oral health to avoid infection and bone shrinkage
- Maintenance of healthier teeth and oral health
- Reduced risk of systemic disease progression such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes by securing perfect periodontal health