Dentist speaking to patient in chair

Looking after implants, dentures and bridges at home

We’re delighted that most of our dental practices across the UK are now open for different levels of face-to-face care. At the present time we’re prioritising emergency appointments and those with the greatest need. However, there may be some instances where we still can’t see you face-to-face, or you may need to wait a little longer for an appointment than usual.

Therefore, in the meantime, we’ve created some useful tips to help you look after your dental implants, dentures and bridges at home, with advice on what to do if something goes wrong.

  • Brush your implants at least twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush, including under and around the crown of the implant
  • Use an interdental brush coated with nylon every day to clean around the implant, or by using unwaxed floss tape or 'super floss'
  • Stop smoking. Your dentist will have advised you to stop before having your implant fitted, but if you’re still smoking, stopping may decrease your chance of having a problem. Research has shown that the rate of implant failure is much higher for those who smoke than those who don’t.1

Looking after implants following smile in a day treatment

If you’ve had multiple dental implants fitted using the smile in a day method, your implant dentist will have provided you with written guidance on looking after your new smile as well as information about fitting your final, permanent set of teeth.

Caring for implants following smile in a day treatment is exactly the same as looking after traditional, single implants, so you can follow the above advice about taking care of them. You must make sure you clean under the false teeth around the implants, as per the instructions supplied by your dentist. Failing to do this could result in peri-implant disease and cause bone loss and infection.

If you’ve had your new smile fitted in the last three months, you’ll still have your temporary teeth, which are exchanged for your final, permanent teeth once your implants have integrated with the bone surrounding them. As routine dentistry has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, this means we can’t fit your new, permanent set of teeth right now. However, your temporary fixed teeth are designed to last over a year, so there’s no need to worry if you can’t get them replaced as planned as long as you keep things very clean.

If you need additional advice around smile in a day implants, you should contact your local practice.

Problems with your implants

Problems with dental implants can vary from a short-term infection to a chronic infection such as peri-implant disease. Symptoms to look out for include:

Looking after your dentures

It’s important to take extra care of your dentures, as you won’t be able to see your dentist or hygienist for routine care. We recommend you:

  • Clean your dentures thoroughly every day. Clean them over a sink full of water in case you drop the denture
  • Don't wear your dentures at night unless you've been advised to by your dentist. If so, make sure you take them out for at least two hours a day
  • Use a denture cleaner, such as Steradent, once a week for a deep clean. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and ensure it's suitable for your type of denture
  • Store them in a safe place and be extra careful with them. You won't be able to get a replacement denture during the coronavirus pandemic

If your dentures are loose, read our advice about managing loose dentures.

If your dentures are rubbing and causing ulcers, read our article about relieving mouth ulcers and other types of dental pain.

Taking care of bridges

If you have a dental bridge, your dentist will have talked you through the importance of keeping it clean to prevent any problems. To avoid any problems occurring with your bridge during COVID-19, it's especially important you:

  • Avoid sticky or hard foods, which could cause damage to your bridge, such as sweets, nuts or ice
  • Clean your bridge thoroughly twice a day. Use an interdental brush or 'super floss' first, then brush the teeth and surrounding area with fluoride toothpaste

Pain or problems with bridges

If your bridge is causing you toothache or tooth sensitivity, you should try and manage the pain with self-help advice in the first instance. Read our article on how to relieve toothache and other common dental pain. If the pain gets worse, contact your local dental practice for further advice.

If your bridge has come loose, it’s important you contact a local Bupa Dental Care practice for support as soon as possible. Every person’s bridge is different, so you’ll need further advice from a dentist on your individual issue. They can then provide further guidance about what to do next.

For further help and advice

If you’re experiencing dental issues, which aren’t referenced in this article and are affecting your ability to sleep or concentrate, please get in touch with your local dentist. If you don’t have a dentist, or your practice is closed due to COVID-19, you can contact a Bupa Dental Care practice for emergency support.

If you can manage your pain at home, we’d still encourage you to visit your local practice to get checked out once it reopens for routine dental care.

From Bupa Dental Care

The health, wellbeing and safety of our patients, their families and our people remain our top priority at Bupa Dental Care. We’d like to thank our patients for their understanding during the COVID-19 situation.

Once it is safe for our practices to re-open, we encourage you to get in touch and book an appointment. The latest status of our practices can be found at: COVID-19 Notice. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, find and contact your local Bupa Dental Care practice who can offer telephone support and advice to patients with urgent need. They can also direct you to the most appropriate support location if further care is needed.

1- Kasat, V., & Ladda, R. (2012). Smoking and dental implants. Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry, 2(2), 38-41.