Dental Implant Maintenance Care Tips

In Dental Health by Dr. Mathew Palmer

Dental implants have become a very commonly prescribed option for adult teeth. Implants can be used for the comfort and stabilizing of a denture. 3 million people have had implants and that number increases by 500,000 per year, says the American Academy of Implantology.

Different procedures and measures are required to keep an implant clean and free of harmful bacteria or plaque that may invade the tissues around the implant and lead to more issues. Peri-implantitis may arise and lead to implant failure without the persistent removal of debris and plaque.

What might happen if you don’t take care of your dental implants

Without proper daily care, implants may develop problems. The first sign of a problem is when bleeding is found. The best advice suggests that this can be easily treated when detected early. Regrettably, the bone loss is not curable when it develops into bone loss, also known as peri-implantitis. When peri-implantitis is not treated, accelerated bone loss and implant removal might have to occur.

In maintaining the implants and keeping them free from infections, the dental hygienist plays a significant role. However, dental hygiene scalers can scratch a crown, abutment or implant on natural teeth, so your hygienist has to use special plastic and resin devices to help clean them without causing any damage.

But there are also many things that the wearer can do to help maintain the life of the implant and prevent disease. Here are some tips for you to perform at home.

Single Implants

  • Brush at least twice a day.
  • Use a toothpaste with low abrasion.
  • Clean under and around the crown of the implant.
  • To wash hard to reach areas, use a nylon-coating interdental sweep.
  • Floss with unwaxed tape or implant-specific floss every day.
  • Use an oral irrigator.


  • Take off the denture every day and soak for the prescribed time in appropriate cleaners.
  • Test the equipment and notify your dentist if anything is broken or missing.
  • Softly brush the bottom part of your denture with a denture brush.
  • Before putting in your mouth, rinse overdenture rigorously with water.
  • Replace O-rings and locator caps once a year.

All-on-4 Implants

The steps in the clean-up of all-over-4 dental implants are like those in the cleaning of single-tooth implants, but you have to take a few extra steps. Food debris can be quickly lodged between the base of the bridge and the gum line with All-on-4 implants which can raise the risk of infection.

All-on-4 dental implants are constructed of the same substance as implants, and must be handled with a soft toothbrush and water flosser in the same manner and cleaned with nonabrasive toothpaste at least twice daily. With four different implants, all-in-4 implants form one complete arch with top or bottom teeth. Extra emphasis must therefore be given to the removal of food waste.

Here are two ways to do so:

  1. With a rubber-tip simulator: The majority of water flossers have rubber-tip stimulators that can gently remove debris from the area between the bridge and gum line. Use this accessory at least once a day on your water flosser to remove excess food from your all-on-4 dentures. Make sure you use the medium or small sizes only, since your gum tissue can be separated from your implant on a high setting.
  2. With a sulcus brush: This looks like a very small toothbrush and is used to clean the section of the bridge that changes into soft tissue. This makes dental care much easier for many who wear all-on-4s.

Palmer Dental

Well taken care of dental implants can last many years. We will work with you to develop the best plan to manage your dental implants and your overall dental health. During your dental implant treatment, we will provide you with the right tools and recommendations for cleaning. Contact us today to set up an appointment.