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You’ve got your dental implant. To get home free, you have to be a Giant of maintenance.

We couldn’t resist.  We’re proud of our San Francisco Giants and we just had to work them into a blog post.

But we’re writing about something serious today:  how to preserve your beautiful new dental implant for life.  For many people, this means changing the bad habits that got you to a dental implant in the first place.

Here are the three things you must do to maintain your smile.

1     Remember that your implants look like teeth but they’re not.  Dental implants are made of titanium.  You’ll never get a cavity, but you could still get gum disease.  You have to brush and you have to floss.

2     Remember what your periodontist taught you about flossing around the implant:  go up under the gum and clean that pocket between the tooth and the gum.  Your gum does not attached to the implant, so how you care for it is different from your other teeth.  (With those, you just floss up to the gum line, not under it.)

3     Remember to pay attention to the little things, like bleeding when you brush and floss, a dull ache or soreness around the implant, or a bad odor or taste.  Visit your dentist immediately – you could be developing peri-implantitis, periodontal disease specific to the implant.

These three things are essential to protecting your investment in your dental implants – and keep you batting 1000 with that smile.

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This post was written by who has written 5 posts on The Practice SF Blog.

Dr. Gregory Conte, DMD, MS, is a periodontist and partner in The Practice SF. He received his dental degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine and completed his Certificate in Periodontics and Masters Degree in Oral Biology from the University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Conte is a member of The American Dental Association, The American Academy of Periodontics, The Academy of Osseointegration and the California Society of Periodontists, where he served on the Board of Directors. He is a Fellow of the International Team for Oral Implantology.

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