Flossing Around Your New Dental Implant: What You Need to Know

Posted on: 9 December 2015

Dental implants are remarkable. Not so long ago, a missing tooth needed to be replaced with a denture or a prosthesis held in place with a metal bridge. Now an anchor can be implanted directly into your jaw with a prosthetic tooth affixed to it via an abutment. It looks totally natural and only you and your dentist would know the different. Having a dental implant can create some problems when it comes to flossing, although most of these problems can be easily overcome. If the tooth that was replaced with the dental implant had been damaged for some time, you would have become used to its changed dimensions. The tooth might have become misshapen due to decay or accident, and you would have gotten used to flossing around the unique shape of this tooth. Having a dental implant changes all that, and you once again need to become used to flossing around a tooth that is now there in its entirety.

Getting Used to It

A lot of being able to effectively floss around dental implants is practise. It might seem awkward and cumbersome at first, but you will quickly become used to having a tooth back in the position in question. Don't be tempted to neglect this new tooth since, while it might be a prothesis, you still need to practise good oral hygiene to ensure the longevity of the implant. The implant will presumably border your natural teeth, so you need to keep those healthy, and as your dentist will tell you, flossing is a vital part of an effective oral hygiene regime.

A Different Flossing Tool

If you find that you are not able to effectively floss between the prosthetic tooth and your natural teeth, there are a few things you can do. You will have better luck with a water flosser. This device shoots a concentrated stream of water into the gaps between your teeth, which dislodges any debris. It's much easier than using traditional dental floss. If you still experience trapped food between your prosthetic tooth and your natural teeth after upgrading your flossing equipment, then you need to see your dentist.

Checking the Implant

Dental implants are made with precision, yet there is still a small chance of error. A slightly misaligned implant can result in too small a gap between the prosthesis and the neighbouring tooth. This can make flossing (using any method) practically impossible. The implant needs to be re-centered, and this often involves the construction of a new prosthesis and abutment that can be attached to the metal anchor (implanted in your jaw) at a more appropriate angle. This is the preferable solution, as it does not require the removal and reimplantation of the anchor.

Flossing after a dental implant is something that you should quickly get used to, but it's important to ensure that you do it on a regular basis. If you should experience difficulties with being able to effectively floss around the implant, try another device for flossing or speak to your dentist to ensure that the implant is correctly positioned. For more information about dental implants, contact your dentist. 

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