All-on-4 dental implants are fixed (non-removable) implant-supported dentures. The four implants are artificial tooth roots made of titanium. A periodontist places four to six implants to support an arch of replacement teeth. If you are considering getting All-on-4 implants, you may wonder how keeping them clean differs from cleaning a removable denture. We will explain how to care for All-on-4 implants after surgery, during recovery, and after your implants and jawbone fuse.
How Can You Clean All-on-4 Implants After Surgery?
After surgery, your periodontist or oral surgeon will ask you to pause your usual oral hygiene habits to allow blood clots to form at the implant sites. You can promote healing by doing the following:
- Avoid brushing and flossing your teeth.
- Avoid rinsing your mouth, spitting, or sucking through a straw for 48 hours.
- Use antibacterial gauze pads over the surgical sites as directed.
Cleaning All-on-4 Dental Implants During Recovery
While recovering at home, follow your periodontist’s guidelines for maintaining good oral hygiene after surgery. You can begin the following routine on the third day to keep your All-on-4 implants healthy:
- Continue to use the antibacterial rinse for seven to ten days, or as your doctor prescribes.
- Use warm salt water rinses four to five times daily and always after meals.
- Gently brush your teeth and floss between them.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently clean implant healing abutments (connectors).
- Be careful not to disturb any sutures.
Keeping Your Implants Clean After Your Doctor Removes Sutures
After your doctor removes any sutures, you may use a water flosser at a low setting around your natural and new teeth while avoiding the surgical sites. The flosser will flush out food debris.
Cleaning All-on-4 Implants After They Heal
After the healing period, you can keep your All-on-4 implants clean with these steps:
- Brush and floss All-on-4 implants as you would your natural teeth.
- Use interdental brushes and a water flosser to keep the area around the implants free of food particles that promote bacteria and cause infection.
- See your dentist for routine exams and cleanings.
The American Association of Implant Dentistry confirms that bacteria can accumulate around artificial tooth roots and cause bone loss around implants. Untreated bone loss will result in dental implant failure, so regular at-home and professional maintenance are essential.
Dr. David Pumphrey, an Atlanta periodontist, sponsors this post.