At Lake Bluff Dental, Dr. Griffin specializes in implant dentistry. As a qualified prosthodontist, Dr. Griffin can provide you with the care you need to keep your implants healthy, and ensure a long lifespan for your new smile. When you come in for implant treatment at our office, we take a communicative, educational approach to ensure that you know what to expect and that you are comfortable through every step of your treatment.
Proper implant maintenance starts with at-home care. Oral care details for your implants will vary based on the type of implant you have. Single-tooth implants, for example, can be treated just like a natural tooth. Simply brush at least twice a day for two minutes, and floss once a day to keep your implant healthy and prevent the buildup of plaque and bacteria.
Implant-supported bridges and non-removable implant-supported dentures like All-On-Four require more complex care. You must clean underneath the denture or bridge to remove plaque and food debris, and prevent inflammation and infection of the gums.
You should use a Waterpik or other water flosser to clean below your bridge or denture twice per day, floss under the bridge or denture once daily, and use a sulcus brush to clean between the gums and your dental work. Rinsing with mouthwash will also help keep your mouth healthy. Dr. Griffin will provide you with a comprehensive set of cleaning instructions after your implant-supported restoration is placed.
Removable implant-supported dentures are easy to clean. They can simply be removed from your mouth at night, and brushed with a non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft bristled toothbrush. Then, your dentures should be soaked in water or denture-soaking solution overnight.
Just like your natural teeth, dental implants require both at-home care and in-office cleaning to keep them in great shape. That’s why you should make sure you visit Dr. Griffin every six months for a consultation and to have an oral exam. Whether you have just one dental implant or a full-arch restoration, Dr. Griffin will be able to examine your mouth, clean around your implants and your teeth, and make sure that your mouth is healthy. As an experienced prosthodontist, you can trust Dr. Griffin to take great care of both your implants and your natural teeth.
This depends on the type of full mouth restoration. If you have removable implant-supported dentures, you will need to remove them, then brush and soak them similarly to traditional dentures. You will also need to brush your gums and your dental implants with fluoride toothpaste.
The process is a little different with fixed implant-supported dentures, such as All-On-4, because these are permanently attached to your dental implants and cannot be removed. Because of this, caring for them is similar to brushing your natural teeth.
You will need to brush twice a day for two minutes. Brush all of your teeth, and make sure you brush around the gum line. Then, we recommend that you use a Waterpik or a similar water flosser to clean around the gap where your fixed dentures meet your gums. This will help blast away any food debris and other food particles.
It’s also a good idea to use an interdental brush to brush in the gap between your fixed dentures and your gums. These small, thin brushes can help you remove food and bacteria that are inaccessible with a Waterpik or brushing alone.
Once your implants are fully healed and stable, there are absolutely no dietary restrictions. You can eat whatever you want with dental implants. While you should still avoid chewing non-food objects like pens or fingernails and never use your teeth to open packages or tear tape, there are no limits on the types of foods you can eat.
However, this is not the case immediately after your dental implant surgery. If you’ve recently had a dental implant placed, you may need to observe some dietary restrictions. For the first 24-48 hours, you should only eat liquid and very soft foods like yogurt, smoothies, and soup broth.
The first week after your surgery, you can eat soft foods like macaroni and cheese, bananas, steamed vegetables, creamy soups, eggs, and other such foods. After 2 weeks, you can start eating a mostly normal diet, but you still may want to avoid very tough, hard, or fibrous foods like fresh fruit and vegetables, tough meat, nuts, and other such foods.
If you have full-mouth implants, you will need to maintain a diet of mostly soft foods for up to 3 months, or whenever your permanent restorations are applied. Dr. Griffin will tell you more about what to expect during your consultation.
The initial healing process for dental implant surgery will take about 2 weeks. At this time, your implant site will only feel slightly tender to the touch, and you should not be experiencing any kind of pain.
However, this does not mean that you are ready to have your final dental implant restoration attached to your tooth. Once your implants have been placed, it takes up to 3-6 months for the implant to permanently bond with your jaw bone.
So make sure that you come back to Lake Bluff Dental for your follow-up appointments. This lets Dr. Griffin track your healing and recovery progress, and ensures your implants stay healthy and strong as they heal and bond with your jaw.
In most cases, dental implants will last 30+ years with proper placement and care. Most patients can keep their implants for the rest of their lives. However, it’s important to note that the lifespan of dental implants can be shortened if you do not take proper care of them, due to issues like peri-implantitis (gum disease near the implant site) and other oral health issues.
It’s also important to distinguish the lifespan of dental implants themselves from implant-supported restorations like crowns, bridges and dentures. While implants usually last 30+ years, the lifespan of implant-supported restorations can range between 10-20 years.