Step-by-Step Guide: How to Clean All-on-4 Dental Implants for Optimal Oral Health

how to clean all-on-4 dental implants

All-on-4 implants are an astounding dental restoration technique—developed by dentists over time but perfected in the 90s by a dentist named Dr. Paulo Malo—that is described as a dental prosthesis consisting of dentures held in place using four dental implants, which is where the ‘4’ in All-on-4 comes from. This technique, a type of full mouth dental implants, is currently very popular among edentulous (missing teeth) patients who require a new technology that makes restoration of their eating and speaking functions possible and provides a revitalized, youthful dental appearance.

In this blog, we will talk about how to clean All-on-4 dental implants and provide many important techniques for their upkeep that you, as a patient, can do yourself. The techniques that we will be talking about have been scientifically tested to be essential to the health of your prosthesis – they will prove quite indispensable in ensuring that your All-on-4 dental implants last for a long time, retain their effectiveness over the years, and feel similar in function to real teeth.

An Overview of All-on-4 Dental Implants

The All-on-4 dental treatment – developed by Dr. Paulo Malo in the late 1990s – is described as a prosthesis that consists of ‘all’ of the artificial teeth deriving most of their retentive strength from ‘four’ dental implants that have been surgically drilled into the jawbone. It has been in development over time and has come to incorporate incremental modifications by dentists, such as the use of angulated implants and the possibility of immediate placement.

The four implants that are placed inside the mouth are made of biocompatible titanium, which ensures that the human body will not treat it as a foreign, invasive element and will not only welcome it inside but develop a structural bond with it on the cellular level, a process known as osseointegration. Dental implant treatments depend heavily on the strength of retention provided by the osseointegration process, which can last from several weeks to several months.

What Steps Can You Take To Clean Your All-on-4 Dental Implants?

The future success of dental implants needs consistent rituals of cleanliness and maintenance performed by the patient. We have consolidated the cleanliness process as follows.

Step 1: Brushing Daily 

Brushing twice daily is generally considered to be a cleanliness rule that we are taught from childhood. Still, it becomes even more important when dealing with dental implants as the likelihood of bacteria accumulation and bacteria-related diseases such as peri-implantitis, a disease-specific to dental implants that occurs due to the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth. We can prevent such diseases from occurring with a consistent daily practice of brushing. 

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush for this step along with fluoride toothpaste. Avoid abrasive toothpaste or harsh cleaning tools that could scratch the prosthesis or damage the gums, and always remember to be gentle when cleaning with a brush, as a high amount of force may induce scratches on the implant surface.

Process: Brush around the dental implant using back and forth motions as well as up and down strokes, the goal is to reach as much of the dental implant as you can. Rinse the mouth with water when you’re done. It’s preferable to utilize lukewarm water for this purpose.

Step 2: Use Interdental Brushes 

You can also buy specific implant cleaning brushes for this purpose. The shape of the implant brush is designed to be cylindrical and much smaller than a toothbrush. They are quite similar to normal brushes as they can be reused as needed but are shaped specifically to reach the nooks and crannies of the implant where stubborn bacteria might persist. 

Step 3: Flossing 

Flossing should be considered just as important as brushing. During flossing, you can reach areas that even brushing cannot reach. It can help remove any buildup of bacteria in the tough positions and reduce the risk of gum diseases and also act as a significant deterrent to peri-implantitis.

Process: A good rule of thumb technique is to thread the floss under the prosthesis and around the implants, then move the floss in a back-and-forth motion and an up-and-down motion to remove plaque particles that may have accumulated. 

Step 4: Schedule Regular Cleanings With Your Dentist

Every 3-6 months, it’s advisable to get your All-on-4 dental implants professionally cleaned and checked by a dentist or hygienist, preferably from the clinic where you got them in the first place. During these visits, the dental professional will use some very specialized techniques to remove the plaque and tartar buildup that might have accumulated around the implants and prosthesis, which is hard to clean even with consistent brushing and flossing. They will also check for any wear and tear that might have occurred in the prosthesis, which might be a warning sign of implant failure and something that the professional will look out for.

What Can Happen if The Implants Aren’t Cleaned?

There are many dire drawbacks that a lack of maintenance of the All-on-4 dental implants can entail. We have compiled some of them below.

Increased Risk Of Gum Disease Due to Infection: Due to the accumulation of bacteria in the nooks and crannies of the implants, there are a number of gum diseases that can occur in your mouth. One of these diseases, which is specific to implants, is called Peri-implantitis, a gum disease that is characterized by the inflammation of the tissue around the implant due to dental implant failure.

Adverse Affect On Aesthetics: A lack of maintenance and cleanliness can leave food particles that can stain and add discoloration to the surface of your implants, mostly the crown component, which can impact the overall aesthetics of your prosthesis thereby affecting your overall smile. 

Increases Risk of Implant Failure: Because the implant is a prosthetic device that is fitted inside the mouth, rather than an organ of the body that has its own regulation systems, it depends on the patient and the dentist to maintain consistent cleaning and regulation of the implant. Although it is significantly rare for dental implants to be in a state of failure, there is still a minor chance of this occurring. This could be further exacerbated by neglecting daily rituals of cleaning and maintenance, as well as not going to the dentist for checkups.

Conclusion

In this blog, we discussed the All-on-4 dental implants in detail, provided the benefits and considerations for the treatment, and also discussed who can benefit the most from it. We ended the blog by providing a step-by-step guide on how to clean all-on-4 dental implants.

If you want a personalized consultation for your unique case from a staff of experienced professionals, don’t hesitate to visit the Redwood City Implant Clinic in Redwood City, California, or call us to book your consultation today! Schedule a consultation with us to reap the benefits of better oral health now!

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