Implant Maintenance Care

Debridement of dental plaque and calculus is a basic part of the implant care regimen.  Evidence based research supports the complete removal of deposits from dental implants to control inflammation and reduce attachment loss.  Here at the Okanagan Periodontal and Implant Centre, we utilize Implacare Hu-Friedy unfilled resin scalers, and Citagenix titanium scalers lightly and carefully, to debride dental implants.  We also employ Dentsply sheathed power scalers, as required.  Selective polishing may be used based on the patient’s needs.

Under appropriate conditions, scientific research also supports the gentle probing of dental implants.  At the Okanagan Periodontal and Implant Centre, we use non-metal assessment instruments, such as Hu-Friedy Colorvue probe to minimize alterations to the implant environment.  The gingival tissue is also evaluated for health, quality, and location.

We debride all implant and related surfaces which can accumulate deposits and harbor bacteria.  This includes the peri-implant space above and below the gumline.  the clinician must have a gentle touch, being careful not to interrupt the biological seal around the implant.  Our Dental Hygienists scale with short working strokes and light pressure, to prevent trauma to the delicate peri-implant sulcus.  Upon insertion of the instrument, the blade should be closed against the abutment, and then opened at the base of the sulcus.  A horizontal, oblique, vertical or semi-circular stroke should be used, in an apical to coronal direction, depending on the location of the deposit.  Instruments should be chosen based on the best design features to access the implant, and the prosthetic components.  This choice should focus on the individual patient, with consideration to the biotype of the surrounding tissues (thick or thin tissue), the implant type and location, and the characteristics of the prosthesis.

At the Okanagan Periodontal and Implant Centre, the implant maintenance appointment includes:

  • patient consent to treatment
  • review of patient health history
  • extra-oral and intra-oral examination
  • debridement of soft and hard deposits
  • selective polishing, flossing (as required)
  • prosthetic assessment
  • osseous assessment
  • mobility of the implant and prosthetic components
  • probing depths
  • assessments of peri-implant and gingival tissues
  • radiographic evaluation of implant and prosthetic structures
  • recording of bleeding on probing and/or suppuration
  • oral hygiene evaluation