We’ve noted that you should keep an eye on the health of your implant,and your daily attention to your implant is crucial to ensuring the success and longevity of your dental implant. But when you come into the office, we’ll do a comprehensive inspection of your dental implant to make sure it’s still healthy.

This inspection may include any or all of the following.

Visual Inspection

You’ll look at your implant every day when performing your routine oral hygiene or when you happen to smile while looking in the mirror, but you can’t get the same view of your dental implant that we can. That’s why we’ll start with a visual inspection. We’ll want to make sure that the dental crown looks like it’s in good shape, free of discoloration and chips or cracks. 

We’ll also look at your gums and make sure they look healthy. Redness or swelling around the implant is a concern, as is gum recession, and, especially, any type of pus-filled sore around the implant.

If we notice any cause for alarm from the visual inspection, we will want to perform more tests.

Periodontal Probing

You’re probably used to probing around your natural teeth to determine the existence of gum pockets that could be signs of worsening gum decay. We might do the same around your dental implant, monitoring the depth of any pocket around the implant to make sure that it isn’t growing, which could indicate the development of gum disease.

Implant Movement

We might test the movement of the implant the same way we’d test it for your natural teeth. We’ll try to rock your implant back and forth. Natural teeth have some expected movement related to the flexibility of the periodontal ligament, but dental implants don’t. They should be anchored firmly in the bone, so any movement is either coming from a loose, worn, or failing abutment or it’s coming from a problem with the implant’s anchorage in the jawbone. 

X-Rays

We’ll conduct regular x-rays of your dental implants the same way we do them for your natural teeth. X-rays will show us how well the dental implant is anchored in the bone. Normally, simple x-rays are all that’s necessary, but we might have to perform different x-rays or maybe even do a CT scan if we can’t tell whether there’s a problem around the implant.

In addition to regular cleanings, thorough inspections of your dental implant will help ensure that it lasts for its full lifetime. To learn more about maintaining dental implants in Irvine, please call   for an appointment with an implant dentist at Rice Dentistry in Orange County.