Dental Implant Care: How to Care for Your Implants in Sierra Vista, AZ

Restore Your Healthy Smile With Our Dentist in Sierra Vista

Gentle Care Dentistry & Implants

General Dentist & Dental Implant Provider located in Sierra Vista, AZ

Dental Implant Maintenance Guide With Dr. Hales

One of the most convenient benefits of dental implants is that they don’t require any special maintenance beyond the usual care following the dental implant procedure. As a tooth replacement that looks, acts, and feels just like natural teeth, patients can achieve a lifetime of oral health success with comprehensive care and maintenance after the procedure.

To ensure that your restoration lasts and to help increase its longevity, our Sierra Vista, AZ, dentist has created a comprehensive guide to caring for dental implants. If you have any questions, contact our dental team at Gentle Care Dentistry and Implants today by calling (520) 458-9460.

Caring for Your Dental Implants

Basic Oral Hygiene Habits for Dental Implant Care

Good oral hygiene is essential for maintaining the health and longevity of your dental implants. Oral hygiene habits to follow include brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and using an antiseptic mouthwash to kill bacteria and freshen your breath.

Brushing Your Teeth

One of the most effective ways to maintain dental implants is by brushing your teeth twice a day. When brushing your teeth, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste specifically formulated for implants. Make sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the tops, sides, chewing surfaces, and gum lines.


Flossing is crucial for removing plaque and food particles from between your teeth and around your dental implants. Use a floss threader or special dental floss designed for dental implants to make flossing around the implant post easier. Additionally, utilizing implant-specific floss can significantly enhance the removal of plaque around the implant site, which is essential for maintaining optimal oral health.

One of the best methods for flossing is known as a Waterpik. It can reach difficult spots and keep the gum line clean.

Rinsing Your Mouth

Rinsing your mouth between meals is an essential step in maintaining the health of your dental implants. It helps remove food particles and bacteria that may be left behind after eating, which can lead to plaque and tartar buildup around the implant post.

Use an antiseptic mouthwash specifically formulated for dental implants. Swish the mouthwash around your mouth for 30 seconds to a minute, making sure to reach all areas of your mouth, including the implant site. Spit the mouthwash out and rinse your mouth with water.

Routine Visits to the Dentist

Regular dental checkups and cleanings are essential for maintaining excellent oral health and keeping your dental implants in pristine condition. Our dentist will examine your implants to check for any signs of wear or damage and clean and polish them to remove plaque and tartar buildup.

Problems That Can Occur Without Dental Implant Maintenance

Implant maintenance problems can occur despite regular care and maintenance. Here are some common problems and how to address them:

  • Peri-implantitis: This is a type of gum disease that affects the tissue around the implant, leading to inflammation and bone loss. Symptoms include bleeding, swelling, and redness around the implant. To treat peri-implantitis, our Sierra Vista dentist may recommend antibiotics, deep cleaning procedures, or even surgery in severe cases.
  • Loose Implant: If you feel like your implant is loose or wobbly, it may be due to a loose abutment screw or implant failure. Contact our Sierra Vista dentist immediately for an evaluation and treatment options.
  • Broken restoration: The crown, bridge, or denture that is attached to the implant may become loose, crack, or break over time. This can be due to normal wear and tear or physical trauma. Depending on the extent of the damage, Dr. Hales may recommend a repair or replacement.
  • Gum recession: Gum recession can occur around the implant, exposing the implant to bacteria and leading to implant failure. Our dentist may recommend gum grafting surgery to address the recession and prevent further damage.

Preventing Dental Implant Surgery Complications

Following post-operative instructions is crucial for a smooth dental implant recovery, as it can help manage potential complications, such as excessive bleeding. Addressing excessive bleeding promptly, for example, by applying pressure with gauze or a moistened tea bag, is important to prevent dislodging the blood clot. The healing process plays a significant role in the success of dental implant placement, and practices like maintaining good oral hygiene can significantly impact recovery and prevent issues such as inflammation and weakened gums.

It’s important to seek prompt treatment for any implant maintenance problems to prevent further damage and ensure the longevity of your implant. Regular dental check-ups and follow-up appointments can also help our Sierra Vista dentist catch potential problems early.

If you’re dealing with any problems with your dental implant, contact our dentist in Sierra Vista by calling (520) 458-9460.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I visit the dentist after getting dental implants?

After receiving your dental implants, you’ll want to continue to visit your dentist once every six months. By maintaining regular dental visits, you’ll ensure your dental implants stay in excellent shape along with your surrounding natural teeth. 

Can I continue to use my regular toothbrush and toothpaste on my dental implants?

Most dentists recommend using a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically formulated for dental implants, as they’re designed to clean and protect the implant post and surrounding tissue without causing damage. Your dentist will recommend the best toothbrush and toothpaste for your specific case.

Does food get trapped under a dental implant?

Since the base of your dental implant is fused with your jawbone, food won’t get trapped under the restoration. Unlike other tooth replacements, dental implants look, feel, and function the most like natural teeth.

Can plaque grow on implants?

Yes, plaque can grow on implants just like it can on natural teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth and gums, and if not removed through proper oral hygiene practices, can lead to gum disease and other oral health issues.

Similarly, plaque can accumulate on the surface of dental implants, leading to inflammation and potential implant failure. This condition is known as peri-implantitis and can cause bone loss around the implant.

What’s the best toothpaste for a dental implant?

It’s generally recommended to use toothpaste that’s low in abrasive particles, as these can scratch the surface of the implant or the restoration attached to it. Look for toothpaste that has a low RDA (Relative Dentin Abrasivity) value, ideally under 70.

Some toothpaste brands also offer specialized formulations for people with dental implants, which may include ingredients such as antibacterial agents to prevent plaque buildup or enzymes to break down bacteria.

Your Dental Implants Can Last a Lifetime at [Dental Practice Name]

With proper care, dental implants are a life-long solution to missing teeth. If you have any questions about dental implant care, contact our Sierra Vista, AZ, dentist today by calling (520) 458-9460. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have.


before and after dental implants