Implant-supported dentures must be cleaned regularly to maintain oral health, just as you would with your natural teeth. Some implant-supported dentures can be snapped into and out of the mouth; the implants remain in place, but the crowns are removable, and you will remove them for cleaning. Most dentists also recommend removing these crowns for sleeping, which allows the surrounding gum tissue to rest and prevents any possibility of infection. If you prefer to sleep with the crowns in place, it is still recommended that you remove them periodically, to allow the tissue to rest, and also for regular cleaning. You will brush these dentures, the exposed implants, any attachment abutments, and the tissue of the gums and tongue at least once a day, if not twice. You may prefer to soak your dentures, once removed, in a cleaning solution; be sure to talk to your dentist about the material your crowns are made of, to ensure that it is safe to do so, and never place your dentures in bleach.
If your denture is permanently attached to implants and cannot be removed, your dentist may recommend using an adjustable-flow water pick, allowing you to thoroughly rinse the area where the crown meets the gum tissue, flushing out any debris that may have become trapped in this area. It is also necessary to floss the area around the implants, to remove any debris from the surface of the crowns. You should also brush your dentures with a toothbrush, just like you would your natural teeth, though you may or may not use toothpaste, depending on what your crowns and implants are made of, as toothpaste may scratch the surface of certain crowns. Any natural teeth that remain in the mouth must also be maintained with regular flossing and brushing, and the gum tissue and tongue should also be regularly cleaned. Your dentist may also recommend that you wear a mouth guard while sleeping, to minimize wear on your implant-supported dentures.
Your dentist will work with you to make sure you understand how you will clean your implant-supported dentures. It is also imperative to maintain regular dental appointments, which will include a thorough examination to assess the fit and comfort of your dentures and the health of your gums and mouth. Occasionally, your dentist may order x-rays, to assess the wear of any implants, abutments, and attachments, and to make sure everything is positioned correctly. Dentists will also ask you to schedule regular appointments for replacement of smaller parts of implant-supported dentures that may wear out more frequently; this is especially necessary with implant-supported dentures that are removable, as regular removal and reinsertion will wear on the surface of the attachment abutments. With routine, careful care, your implant-supported dentures can provide you with a lifetime of reliable, comfortable, and strong performance. Implant-supported dentures are a stable and durable alternative to conventional dentures, and they cause few if any of the common issues of conventional dentures, like speech issues, discomfort, or difficulty eating certain foods. Of course, extremely hard foods should be approached with caution, as they may damage a crown just as they would damage a natural tooth. If you run into any problems with implant-supported dentures, see your dentist immediately, as these problems can often be easily corrected and may be entirely preventable. Your implant-supported dentures should provide you with a long-lasting, strong, and attractive smile, so be sure to treat them like the valued investment that they are.
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