Dental hygiene nightmares no more: At-home maintenance for success with dental implants

It is no secret that the benefits of plaque reduction around teeth and dental implants can improve oral and overall systemic health. Michelle Strange, RDH, MSDH, says it’s imperative to spend time with patients to find the best dental hygiene tool(s) for their specific appliance and capabilities. She explains how interdental brushes can be used as an alternative to floss and an effective interproximal cleaner, as well as suggests tips to add to the hygiene armamentarium to customize the at-home maintenance routines for your patients.



The importance of plaque removal for the prevention of dental and systemic diseases has been well-documented in the literature. Dental hygiene maintenance programs tailored to the specific patient have become an important aspect of dental care, with approximately 50% of the adult population suffering from periodontal disease and the known increase in the prevalence of peri-implant disease.


Disease progression from gingivitis to periodontitis around natural teeth is very similar to the progression of peri-implant disease from peri-implant mucositis to peri-implantitis, since the etiologic pathogenic bacteria are the same.


In addition, studies show a similar inflammatory cascade initiated during the disease process of both teeth and dental implants. Similar to periodontitis, peri-implant disease is multifactorial and influenced greatly by individual patient factors.


One of the biggest determinants of disease progression is adherence to a proper home-care dental hygiene regimen.