Aftercare and maintenance - Implantology
Aftercare and maintenance
Perfect oral hygiene and optimal aftercare are essential for maintaining implants in the long term. As with a natural element, plaque and tartar formation may occur around an implant, resulting in gum disease and bone loss. Inflammation of the gingiva and associated bone loss is called peri-implantitis. Regular checks, at least once a year, and taking X-rays are necessary to detect abnormalities early. During a follow-up appointment, the condition of the periodontium surrounding the implant is assessed. Where necessary, the implant is cleaned with plastic or ceramic instruments. Metal instruments can scratch the metal of the implant. This is not desirable because it is a retention site for dental plaque. In addition to cleaning the implants, an additional oral hygiene instruction may be given.
During a first check it is advisable to perform zero measurements of, among other things, the pocket depth around an implant. The pocket depths are noted here. During each follow-up appointment, the new measurements can be compared with the zero measurements. In this way it can be assessed whether the health of the gingiva and the bone is stable. The situation can also be recorded radiographically and with light images. Over time, the baseline measurements can help to critically monitor the situation surrounding an implant (see figure below).
Bleeding after probing with peri-implantitis.