Dental Hygiene

Regular dental hygiene appointments will ensure that gums are healthy and well maintained and that you know the best way to look after your mouth.

The life of complex dental restorations, and the teeth or the dental implants that support them, can be greatly extended by good daily maintenance.

Jenny_HygieneYour restorations will have smooth flowing contours and be easily cleansable shapes to allow thorough cleaning with a toothbrush, dental tape, "superfloss", or an interdental brush.

Careful cleaning of the gum at the neck of the tooth or dental implant will prevent recession from taking place.

You should make sure you remove plaque from:

  • The neck of the tooth crown
  • The neck of the dental implant crown
  • From under the false tooth of a bridge
  • Temporary restorations (be careful not to dislodge them with dental tape as the adhesive is weak. Pull the tape gently through the side of the teeth.)

Removing plaque will help prevent gum disease, tooth decay and enhance the shape and contour of the gum.

Temporary and porcelain crowns are weaker than metal crowns.

Take care that you do not fracture them by avoiding:

  • Chewing hard sweets or toffees
  • Biting fingernails
  • Chewing pencils

Avoid sugary snacks, as crowns will not protect the teeth from tooth decay.

Initially, you may expect a certain amount of sensitivity to cold, from restored teeth, and occasionally, hot foods and drinks. Extreme sensitivity is unusual but may be the result of pre-existing inflammation of the dental nerve. This will normally settle over a matter of a few days or weeks.

Smearing de-sensitising toothpaste around the neck of the tooth before going to bed may help in some situations. However if the inflammation and sensitivity worsens, further treatment may be required; in this unlikely event please let us know.

Implant retained crowns and bridges need cleaning in just the same way as conventional tooth-supported crowns and bridges. Although implants are immune to decay, plaque accumulation around the implant as it emerges through the surrounding gum will still cause inflammation, and might cause loss of bony support or 'peri-implantitis'.

Large implant bridges replace missing gum and bone tissue as well as teeth, and extend well under the lip making access even trickier. It can be impossible to clean effectively with an ordinary toothbrush alone. The use of accessory aids to cleaning such as small 'interdental' brushes and 'superfloss' is mandatory. Seeing a hygienist on a regular and frequent basis is essential.

We sometimes see patients on a monthly basis until they have been proven to be capable of optimally maintaining their bridgework themselves.

Meticulous home care and regular examination and maintenance with our hygienists or therapists will ensure that any potential problems are identified early, and that you are doing all that can be done to keep your teeth and gums healthy and your new restorations looking good.