Dental Implant Cleaning & Sterilization
Today, dental implants are one of the most popular choices for tooth replacement treatment among adults in the United States. Implants offer stability, security, and durability that many other replacement treatments do not. If you are considering tooth replacement options, you should be considering dental implants. Before you commit to implants, you should do you research on the implant systems your dental provider uses and learn more about your provider’s experience with implant installation and implant treatments. One important step in the implant installation process that is often not considered by patients is implant cleaning and sterilization. Below is more information on dental implants and how implant components should be cleaned, disinfected, and sterilized.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are metal or ceramic posts that are securely implanted into the jawbone during a surgical procedure. Dental implants are designed to act like the root of a natural tooth, offering stability, security, and helping to maintain the shape of the mouth and jaw. After the surgical implant procedure, a several month healing period is required to allow time for the implant to fuse with the jawbone. This fusing process is essential to the success of the dental implant. Once the implant is secure in the bone, a connector called an abutment, is placed on top of the implant to attach an artificial crown. To reduce possible pain and discomfort during the installation procedure, it is common for providers to administer local or general anesthesia.
Steps to Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Sterilizing Dental Implants
Once implant components are received from dental labs, it is important that they are carefully cleaned prior to the installation procedure to avoid any possible infection. Prior to the procedure, the components should be kept packaged and stored in a clean space. All dental providers should also follow any local legal regulations that involve hygiene and sterilization. If you are concerned about the implant components your provider will use, you should ask questions about their cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing procedures.
Cleaning: the following is an example of cleaning procedures dental providers should use to clean implant components:
1. Rinse the components under flowing water while brushing the sides with a brush.
2. Dip the component in an appropriate cleaning solution.
3. Rinse the component at least three times with flowing water.
Disinfection: Prior to being installed, implant components should be disinfected. Below is an example of a disinfecting procedure that should be followed:
1. Soak the components in disinfectant solution for a set period of time.
2. Remove the components and rinse at least three times with purified water.
3. Air-dry and package the implant components immediately to keep clean.
Sterilization: Proper sterilization should occur at the dental office prior to implant installation. It is important to note that implant components should only be sterilized once after cleaning and disinfection. If for some reason the components are contaminated that must be re-cleaned and disinfected. Most dental offices should have the equipment, such as a steam sterilizer, to sterilize implant components.