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The clinician’s role in patient education for maximum implant success

This article is sponsored content brought to you by CareDent.

A life-changing step

According to MicroMarketMonitor, the Australian denture implants and prosthetics market is estimated to grow from US$35.89 million in 2015 to US$52.19 million by 2020.

This is due to an increase in conditions such as dental caries which result in tooth loss and a larger ageing population which is more vulnerable to edentulism. Together with greater patient disposable income, this has caused a surge in dental implant and prosthetic procedures.

However, investing in dental implants is a major step. While the benefits are life changing, it is a costly and complex exercise. Practitioners, therefore, play a significant role in making sure patients know what their post-operative oral hygiene protocol is, but also why following it is so essential to the success of their implant procedure. 

Establishing early compliance with oral hygiene protocols

Immediately after surgery, patients should be given a post-operative protocol which establishes good oral hygiene and addresses pain relief. This will help keep the wound clean to maximise healing for implant success. The protocol will incorporate pain medication, an antibiotic and an antibacterial mouthwash to gently rinse the mouth after carefully brushing the rest of the teeth.

After the first 24 hours, patients should be advised to:

Maintain good oral hygiene

maximising implant successTeeth should be brushed as normal, avoiding the implant area until any tenderness has disappeared. 

 

 

 

Don’t touch the area directly

maximising implant successTo aid healing, don’t touch the area directly with hands or disturb with the tongue. 

 

 

 

 

Keep dentures off 

maximising implant successFor a few nights to assist healing.

 

 

 

Swelling

maximising implant successPatients should make an appointment if swelling and discomfort do not quickly reduce. 

 

 


Cease smoking

maximising implant successPatients should stop smoking for several days after the procedure and ideally give up completely.

 

 

Do not drink coffee or alcohol for 2-3 days after surgery

maximising implant successJust stick to water during this time. 

 

 

Don’t neglect interproximal cleaning

Once the implant has healed, patients shouldn’t neglect oral hygiene. While implants can’t get cavities, spaces between surrounding teeth can, and gum disease poses a real risk for implant longevity. Practitioners must stress the importance of interproximal cleaning to patients to ensure long-term implant success.

What should patients look for?

Patients often need product guidance so being aware of new product features and functionality means clinicians are ready to give advice at any time. While interdental brushes are usually recommended for interproximal cleaning, stand-out products have the following features:

Wire-free for gentle cleaning

This prevents tooth surface scratches which can hold stains and make teeth look discoloured and dirty.

Simple and effective 

The brush should be flexible to reach between back teeth with a strong handle for effective, whole mouth cleaning.

Convenient

The product should be easily accessible at supermarkets, pharmacies or online and contain enough brushes for everyday use to establish good habits. 

Value for money

A solution which is cost-effective will achieve greater patient compliance.

Of course, it is also essential that patients continue with regular dental visits to ensure the health and proper function of their implants.

Maximising implant success

While patient education can be easily overlooked in a busy practice, it has a significant effect on treatment outcomes. Clinicians play a vital role in this education by stressing the importance of good oral hygiene and recommending products for use in the implant post-operative period and beyond. Practices which can make patient oral hygiene education a priority will maximise implant success, allowing them to take advantage of the growing implant market.

For more details, visit caredent.com.au.

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