Over the past decade, dental implants have become the gold-standard tooth replacement method in Mississauga. The only tooth restoration that spans from root to crown, dental implants are placed in the jawbone and anchor your new artificial teeth in place. The result is the most stable and permanent tooth replacement—essentially, a brand new complete and healthy smile.
But what if you have more than one missing tooth, or if you’re missing an entire arch? Unfortunately, dental implants are not the most affordable tooth replacement method in this case. Luckily, periodontists recommend all-on-4 dental implants, making it easy to replace your entire upper or lower teeth—or both—with just a few implants, and without breaking the bank.
Do you have all-on-4 dental implants? These dental implants are life-changing, so it’s important to take care of them and make sure they last. In this article, we’ll go over how to clean your all-on-4 dental implants, so you can maximize their lifespan and enjoy all the benefits of a complete and healthy smile.
What are all-on-4 dental implants?
All-on-4 dental implants essentially function as typical dental implants. These titanium posts are placed in the jawbone and replace the roots of teeth, anchoring new artificial teeth in place. But the difference is, instead of being a one-to-one replacement, all-on-4 dental implants make it possible to replace an entire arch of missing teeth.
This means, if your entire upper or lower teeth are missing, you can get them replaced with dental implants in a cost-effective manner. Rather than having one implant per tooth, all-on-4 implants are strategically placed in the most crucial parts of the jawbone. Thanks to their strategic placement, all four implants can anchor the replacement teeth for your entire upper or lower arch.
Do I need to clean all-on-4 dental implants differently?
The short answer is, yes. While all-on-4 dental implants make it possible to have new teeth that look, feel, and work like your natural ones, they need additional, specialized care. In other words, it’s not enough to simply brush and floss regularly.
All-on-4 dental implants are unique because of the number of teeth they support. This also means that the cost of implant failure is high. Without proper care, dental implants can fail; and when they support more than one tooth—or an entire row—you run the risk of damaging your entire smile.
So, what makes all-on-4 dental implants different in terms of oral hygiene? Since these implants typically support dentures that are anchored to them, there is a higher risk of food particles getting trapped along the gum line and bacteria nesting. This can lead to a number of negative consequences, including:
- Loose dental implants and implant failure
- Damage to the jawbone
- Pain under the dentures
- Bad breath and a constant bad taste in the mouth
- Pus in the gums and around the implants
- Fever, inflamed, and swollen gums.
How to Clean Your All-On-4 Dental Implants
As you’ve learned earlier, periodontists recommend taking extra precautions when cleaning all-on-4 dental implants. To care for them everyday, you need the right cleaning tools and a complete routine.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for cleaning your all-on-4 dental implants:
- Prepare your teeth cleaning tools
Similar to regular cleanings at your periodontist’s clinic, you need a number of tools to care for your all-on-4 dental implants at home. These tools should be effective but comfortable to use to avoid pain and injuries to the mouth.
Once you get all-on-4 dental implants, make sure you have these cleaning instruments at home:
- Mouth rinsing tool, such as a water pick with a ¾ water and ¼ mouthwash solution
- Small brush or proxy brush for reaching under the bridge
- A doctor’s toothpick, which should be soft and flexible but strong
- An end tuft brush for reaching the area where gums and dental implants meet
- A rubber tip for brushing plaque from the surfaces of the bridge
- An electric toothbrush for your dentures.
The first step in cleaning your all-on-4 dental implants is cleaning out bigger chunks of food stuck between the teeth. Here’s where your doctor’s toothpick can come in handy, since it can easily remove large chunks.
Similar to your regular oral hygiene routine, it’s important to floss your dentures. Flossing is the best way to remove smaller food particles that a toothpick or a brush can’t reach. Since floss is flexible, you can easily reach all the crevices.
Ideally, you should floss everyday at least once; however, periodontists note that more frequent flossing can lead to overall better oral health. Make sure to floss regularly to avoid debris in between your new teeth and causing bacteria to grow.
Once you’ve removed food debris, it’s time to brush the surfaces of the teeth. Remember to use a soft brush that allows you to clean the surfaces of your dentures and get close to the gum line. Instead of a regular toothbrush, you may want to use an electric toothbrush.
When brushing your dentures, make sure to use toothpaste, and avoid both abrasive substances and motions. Brush thoroughly but not aggressively to avoid damaging the teeth and gums. And lastly, don’t forget to clean the tongue as well to prevent bacteria from staying in the mouth.
And finally, the last step in cleaning your all-on-4 dental implants is rinsing your mouth. Use a non-alcoholic mouthwash to get rid of remaining food particles, and clean the tongue and insides of the cheeks.
Cleaning Snap-In Dentures
Do your all-on-4 dental implants support snap-in dentures? If you have this type of dentures, make sure to clean them separately.
Before placing them every morning, brush your gums and tongue first. Then, rinse the dentures and brush thoroughly to remove food particles and other debris. When not in use, store your snap-in dentures in water, and ask your periodontist about any specific instructions.
Get All-on-4 Dental Implants Care Tips from Our Periodontists
Do you have all-on-4 dental implants, or are you considering them to replace your entire upper or lower teeth? Our periodontists in Mississauga are here for you, at every step of the way—from consultation and dental implant surgery, to long-term care and maintenance of your newly restored smile. Periodontal Associates offers complete care for all-on-4 dental implants, so you can maximize their lifespan and get the best results from a brand-new smile that looks, feels, and works like your natural teeth.
Want more dental implant care tips? Get in touch with our periodontists in Mississauga to learn more about caring for all-on-4 dental implants.