Long-Term Maintenance of All-on-4 Dental Implants

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Proper long-term maintenance is vital to protect your investment in your All-on-4 implants. Properly looking after your new teeth will help ensure they last longer and remain problem-free. Looking after All-on-Four dental implants is not complicated or time-consuming, but they need consistent and thorough dental care.

How to Care for Your All-on-4 Implants

Our dental team will review your oral care routine with you before you have your implants. We want to ensure that each patient receiving this treatment understands the importance of proper daily oral care and knows how to look after their implants at home.

How to Care for Your All-on-4 Implants

What to Do Each Day

Non-Removable Teeth

If your implant teeth are non-removable, you must thoroughly clean the implant bridge and around each implant twice daily. We will show you how to do this, demonstrate the right techniques, and discuss which tools to use. You will need to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste.

Flossing is crucial; we can show you how to use dental floss correctly. Alternatively, you may want to use a WaterPik instead, which can clean around implants efficiently and easily.

Removable All-on-4 Teeth

If you have a removable All-on-4 restoration, you must take it out each day and clean it thoroughly under lukewarm water, using a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to remove all food and dental plaque buildup. Do not use any harsh abrasives or chemicals that could damage your dental restoration. Soak your implant denture in a cleaner solution to remove any odors and stubborn stains.

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Regular Dental Checkups and Hygiene Appointments

You will need to visit us regularly for dental checkups and hygiene appointments.

Dental Checkup

During your dental exam, our dentist will assess the health of your implants and check your occlusion (how your teeth bite together) in case of any changes. Your teeth must bite together correctly to avoid placing your implants under too much stress. If needed, they can adjust your bite.

Dental X-rays are necessary periodically to check your jawbone health around the dental implants. These X-rays show the bone levels around the implants and can be compared with previous radiographs to see if there have been any significant changes that could indicate a problem.

If you have a removable prosthesis, our dentist will check the abutments attached to your implants and the attachments on the fitting surface of the implant prosthesis in case any components need replacing or tightening.

Hygiene Appointment

Even if you follow a good daily oral care routine, you will still likely have calculus (tartar) buildup around the implants. Removing calculus buildup gets rid of harmful bacteria that could otherwise begin to infect and inflame the gum and bone around the implants.

During your hygiene appointment, the hygienist will clean your implants professionally using specialized tools that will not damage the implant or your implant teeth. Ultrasonic instruments have plastic tips so they will not scratch the implants and clean using high-frequency vibration that loosens accumulated calculus.

Your hygienist uses these tools on a low setting, combined with water to irrigate the areas treated and to wash away debris. Antimicrobial medications are used during irrigation to clean the area more thoroughly if necessary.

After cleaning your implants and restoration, the hygienist can review your oral care routine with you and, if needed, offer advice on improving it. It is also your opportunity to ask questions about your oral health and how to maintain or improve it.

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What Will Happen If I Don’t Look After My All-on-4 Implants?

If you fail to care for your implants, there is a risk the surrounding gum and bone will become infected and inflamed with peri-implant diseases. These occur when bacteria in dental plaque and calculus build up, and the bacteria start to irritate and inflame the gums. If not treated promptly, the infection can spread to the jawbone underneath, which surrounds the implant screw.

There are two types of peri-implant disease outlined below.

Peri-Implant Mucositis

This condition affects the gums around the implant, where the infection hasn’t spread to the jawbone. Peri-implant mucositis is a precursor to more serious peri-implantitis and can be reversed with early treatment.

Peri Implantitis

Unfortunately, this condition affects the gum and the jawbone supporting the dental implants. Usually, surgical treatment is needed to try to get rid of the infection and save the implants.

How Can I Tell If My Implant Is Failing?

Various signs can indicate problems with dental implants, including the following.

  • The implant post is visible above your gum.
  • There is bleeding around the implant or the implant starts to feel painful.
  • The gum surrounding the implant becomes infected, red, and swollen.
  • The dental implant starts to become loose.

Treating a Failing Implant

If your implant does start to fail, there are treatments available; for example, if the implant screw is visible, then it will need to be cleaned professionally and disinfected. Laser dentistry may be used to remove any severely infected gum and to sterilize the areas treated.

Sometimes, surgical treatment is needed to remove the plaque and tartar buildup and severely infected gum tissue. Bone grafting may be required to help hold a failing implant in place.
It is vital to keep an eye on the health of your implants between checkups and hygiene appointments and to contact us promptly if you notice any new symptoms or are concerned about your dental health. The sooner we can provide treatment, the more likely we can save your implants.

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What Happens If My Implant Teeth Break?

If you have a removable All-on-4 implant denture, then it’s quite possible it will break at some point. The acrylic can crack, or acrylic teeth can become loose. A broken denture is generally quite easy to fix but must be sent to the dental lab for proper repair. A broken bridge can be more complex, and you may need to have it remade.

Sometimes, the implant fitments on an acrylic or ceramic bridge may need replacing. It would be far rarer for the abutment holding the All-on-Four bridge in position to fail.

Can I Upgrade My Implant Teeth?

If you currently have acrylic implant teeth or a ceramic implant bridge that has a metal substructure, then one option is to upgrade to zirconia. Zirconia is incredibly strong and ideal for All-on-Four restorations. Please talk to our dentist if you would like to explore this option to discover more and learn about the predicted cost.

All-on-4 implants are easy to look after, and your oral care regime will become second nature once you get into a regular, daily routine. Maintaining this routine will help avoid any potential problems with implants, but if you are ever concerned or need more advice, please get in touch with us. We are here to help you.

Page Updated on May 13, 2024 by
Dr. Rahmani
Implant Dentist
) of
NYC Dental Implants Center
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