Empower implant patients to optimise oral hygiene

06 January 2024

Tom Alcraft explains the importance of home care.

Thousands of people are now seeking out dental implant treatment every year. Patients are understanding the many benefits of associated therapies, and how a dental implant can look and function similar to a natural tooth. They are also finding out how these treatments can be delivered with minimal chair-time, and are often more affordable than many think.

For patients, one advantage of choosing a dental implant is knowing that, with correct maintenance, they can last for many years. It is crucial, therefore, that they understand how important their own role is in ensuring treatment stability and are willing to commit to all the behaviours required.

Success starts from the planning stage

Although success rates are high for implant therapies – a one-year follow-up study reported a survival rate of 95.5 per cent ­– there has to be on-going vigilance for all potential complications that could compromise the outcome.

The most common reason for implant complications and failure is infection. Careful monitoring and management of anything that could indicate the inflammatory and destructive condition peri-implantitis must be conducted by the dental team. Regular appointments to check all is well can minimise the threat, as can smoking cessation along with making other lifestyle changes.

Poor plaque control is another factor, which is where the patient’s willingness to adopt an elevated dental cleaning routine is fundamental.

Helping patients choose

Comprehensive home care can help keep a dental implant beautifully maintained and help patients avoid peri-implant infection. It is their responsibility to keep up the deep-clean habit, but professionals must engage them via education so they truly understand the reasons behind their actions.

With your help, they will feel more confident that they are doing all they can to keep their implant(s) stable. An implant care routine will start with the basics of toothbrushing. Then, cleaning interdentally, which is something every patient should be doing – looking after the interproximal areas has enormous benefits for all-around oral and general health. And, with the right tools, it is perfectly safe for implant patients to do. Cleaning between will disrupt the deposits of calculus that, if left untouched, can lead to an increased risk of peri-implant disease.

Some patients will need to adopt new or update their current at-home routines. The field of behavioural science is an entity in itself, but for dental professionals, having a basic understanding of what drives patient habits can be useful in helping them to make changes. This means ensuring that a patient has the capability (physical or psychological ability), opportunity (with regards to their home environment or access to products) and motivation (desire) to implement positive adjustments to their oral hygiene routine. The dental team should be educating patients and providing reliable information on the benefits of any recommended changes to their habits in order to help them understand the importance of following advice. This should be backed up with continuous encouragement and practical support where appropriate, for example, when it comes to practising techniques or selecting products.

Making the job a pleasure

To make the job of deep, comfortable everyday cleaning easy for implant patients, premium Swiss oral care brand, Curaprox, has produced an Implant Care Kit, with everything needed in one handy pack. Excellent as a teaching aid too, it contains a toothbrush, interdental tools also toothpaste and mouth rinse, so they know exactly what to reach for, every day.

All Curaprox toothbrushes are designed to remove plaque gently, without scrubbing. That is thanks to the ultra-fine Curen filaments, which are densely packed yet can move around the teeth easily and efficiently. Once they have brushed, patients can clean between with a CPS Prime interdental brush for implants, which only need a single movement once a day to get between the hard-to-reach spaces. Also included is a Perio Plus+ Regenerate mouthwash containing Citrox, a natural bioflavonoid extracted from bitter oranges. Adhering well to the teeth, gums and oral mucosa, this completes the Kit.

It is good to remind implant patients that, for the most part, their implant-retained crown is just like a ‘normal’ tooth – and so it requires the same level of TLC. This means attention to scrupulous daily cleaning and oral hygiene practices. But to keep their treatment results beautifully maintained for as long as possible, they should elevate their routine using high-quality products that are proven to work. With your help, they can enjoy their new smile for many years to come.


For more information visit www.curaprox.co.uk