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Oral Hygiene and Maintenance of Dental Implants Oral Hygiene and Maintenance of Dental Implants

Author(s):

Lee H. Silverstein, DDS, MS, FACD, FICD;Gregori M. Kurtzman, DDS

Date Added:

1/3/2006


Summary:

Long-term predictability of dental implants and their associated restorations has been demonstrated. As the number of patients treated with dental implants continues to grow, dentists must accept the challenges of maintaining these sometimes complex restorations. Proper monitoring and maintenance is essential to ensure the longevity of the dental implant and its associated restoration through a combination of appropriate professional care, evaluation, and effective patient oral hygiene. The value of using conventional periodontal parameters to assess periimplant health has not been completely defined. Therefore, it is important that clinicians understand the similarities and distinctions between the dental implant and the natural tooth. Subsequently, by examining the similarities and differences between a natural tooth and a dental implant, basic guidelines can be provided for maintaining the longterm health of dental implants. Direct anchorage of an implant to alveolar bone provides a foundation to support a dental prosthesis and transmits occlusal forces to the alveolar bone. This is the definition of osseointegration. Recently, the focus of implant dentistry has expanded from obtaining osseointegration, which is highly predictable, to include the long-term maintenance of health of the peri-implant hard and soft tissues. This can be achieved through appropriate professional care and patient cooperation via effective home care. Patients must accept the responsibility for implant maintenance, therefore the patient selection process should take into account the patient’s willingness to maintain the fixture and restoration. Diagnosis and treatment planning based on a risk-benefit analysis should be performed subsequent to a thorough medical, dental, head-and-neck, psychological, temporomandibular joint, and radiographic examination.

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