Maintaining Your All-On-4 Dental Implants: Tips for Longevity and Success
If you are about to lose your teeth, are tired of dentures or have been told you are not a candidate for traditional implants; All-on-4® may be for you. With the All-on-4® procedure you can receive implants and a full set of non-removable replacement teeth in 1 – 3 days. All-on-4® is a cost effective, advanced technique whereby a whole arch of teeth is supported by only 4 implants.
All-on-4® is a revolutionary approach that allows the total oral rehabilitation of patients with the placement of only 4 titanium dental implants in each jaw, through a quick and minimally invasive procedure. The Implants act as a foundation for the bridge, which allows the placement of a fixed set of teeth similar to natural teeth. The All-on-4® allows even those patients with virtually no bone to have fixed teeth without the need for bone grafting. The result is a fixed (non-removable) natural-looking dentition, indistinguishable from natural teeth.
Step-By-Step Guide on Maintaining Your Healthy All-On-4 Smile:
Cleaning your All-on-4 implants at home is easy. While you may need to add a few new steps to your daily oral hygiene routine, they are necessary for keeping your implants and gums healthy. Look at it this way: you have already invested a lot to get your new smile. So, why not invest a few extra minutes each day to ensure you will have it for many years ahead?
STEP 1: BRUSH
Brush your teeth at least twice a day (or after every meal) for 2 minutes with a small, soft manual toothbrush. Be sure to brush over all surfaces in your mouth and your tooth bridge to prevent plaque build-up.
Take special care when brushing along the gum line as food particles tend to get stuck around the areas where the tooth bridge is attached. Position your toothbrush in the space where your gums and tooth bridge meet, then gently slide the toothbrush along the bridge in a side-to-side motion. If your gums feel tender, do not worry. This just means that the area needs some more time to heal — be extra gentle and continue brushing.
STEP 2: FLOSS
It may take a little time to get used to your new flossing routine for your All-on-4 implants — but keep at it! Flossing under your bridge/s is crucial for clearing away food particles, preventing plaque and avoiding gum inflammation, which may lead to implant failure.
Use a special implant floss like X-Floss (green) or X-Floss Lite (blue) to clean under your bridge/s. Thread the floss under the bridge then gently move the floss across from one implant to the other. There are 3-4 sections under each bridge — repeat this process for each section. You will also need to floss behind the last back molars. Lasso the floss around the molar and pull from the side.
You could also try Super Floss, which has a thinner threading tip than X-Floss and is ideal for very tight spaces under the bridge/s. However, the thinner tip can make it a little more difficult to use than X-Floss.
If you have enough space between your bridge/s and gums, interdental brushes like Piksters can be used. But remember to be extra careful when using Piksters as they have a pointed tip. You also need to make sure you are using the correct size as recommended by your oral hygiene therapist.
STEP 3: WATERPIK OR WATER FLOSSING
Next, use a Waterpik or water flosser to help dislodge any food particles that may be stuck in hard-to-reach places between the tooth bridge and gums. Keep in mind that plaque must be removed first by brushing and flossing before using the water flosser.
STEP 4: USE A GUM STIMULATOR
Use a rubber tip gum stimulator to gently trace around where your gumline meets your bridge/s. This is another useful step to dislodge any food particles that may have become stuck in the gums. Plus, it helps to stimulate blood flow to the area which can aid the healing process.
STEP 5: RINSE WITH MOUTHWASH
This last step is optional — but many people enjoy the fresh feeling of using mouthwash as the final part of their All-on-4 implants cleaning routine.
If you have existing natural teeth, you can use a fluoride-based mouthwash. Otherwise, you can opt for one with antiseptic chlorhexidine added to it like Curasept or Savacol. It is important to note that any mouthwash with chlorhexidine can stain if used daily — so only use this 1-2 times a week.
For a more natural home remedy, you can create your own saltwater mouthwash by mixing ½ teaspoon of salt with 1 cup of warm water. Swish the solution around your mouth for 10 seconds then spit it out. You can use your saltwater mouthwash 1-2 times a week.
Continue seeing our dental hygiene therapist for your regular All-On-4 check-ups:
After your All-on-4 treatment, you will need to attend regular check-ups with our dental hygiene therapist every 6 months for professional cleaning and maintenance.
During these appointments, your dentist will check the condition and placement of your All-on-4 bridge/s and implants. Your bridge/s may be taken out so your hygiene therapist can clean your implants and remove any plaque or tartar deposits. Our hygiene therapist will also assess the overall health of your mouth and gums and may take x-rays to get the full picture of your oral health.
What happens if you do not clean your All-On-4 Implants Correctly?
It is crucial that you follow through with proper All-on-4 aftercare at home. If you do not clean your All-on-4 dental implants correctly, harmful bacteria can multiply on the surface of the implant. This may lead to infections in your jaw or gums and gum inflammation. If left untreated, this may cause bone loss around the implants and lead to pre-implantitis or implant failure. In severe cases, the implants may need to be completely removed.
If you are struggling to clean your All-on-4 implants or are having trouble with food getting stuck under your bridge/s, it might pay to get it looked at by a professional. If a bridge is not properly designed, it can become what we call a ‘food trap’ — and in this instance, a new bridge may be required.
This is why we spend a significant amount of time carefully designing every All-On-4 bridge at Dental 359 in Perth. We always ensure our All-On-4 bridges are made with a slightly convex shape where it meets the gum line to avoid issues associated with food particles getting stuck.
Got a question about All-On-4 Implants?
While we’ve got lots of great articles on what to expect from your All-on-4 treatment, how much All-on-4 costs and the factors that may affect its price, sometimes it’s just better to talk to a human, right?
That’s why we offer an obligation-free consultation with Dr Hooman Golestani — so you can have a chat about All-on-4 treatment and whether it’s right for you.
Call us now on 9388 3399 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org!