UConn School of Dental Medicine's Dr. Avinash Bidra is the lead author of the first national clinical practice guidelines for caring for patients with teeth restorations such as crowns, bridges, veneers and implants.
According to the American College of Prosthodontists' (ACP) newly published clinical practice guidelines in the January issue of the Journal of Prosthodontics, a dental professional should help their patient keep their restored teeth or implants longer or even lifelong with routine dental examinations at least every 6 months and continuous education about the best individual at-home maintenance regimen.
"At least bi-annual clinical examinations to clean, adjust, repair and/or replace restorations supported by teeth or implants is novel information for patients and the community about the lifelong need for dental maintenance," said Bidra, lead author of the new guidelines who is a prosthodontist in the Department of Reconstructive Sciences and director of Post-Graduate Prosthodontics at UConn School of Dental Medicine.
Prosthodontists are dentists with advanced training in the restoration or replacement of damaged or missing teeth to improve their look and function.
"Prosthodontists often take great pride in meticulously restoring smiles so that they look as natural as possible," said Bidra. "Patients with multiple restorations that are supported by natural teeth or implants need to know that professional and at home maintenance is a lifelong regimen. We are telling professionals what guidelines to follow and what to tell patients for at home maintenance."
To maintain your teeth restorations or implant restorations, Dr. Bidra recommends you:
- Obtain a dental examination and cleaning at least every 6 months.
- Follow your dentist's tailored at-home maintenance recommendations.
- Brush your teeth with a fluoride containing toothpaste at least twice a day.
- Floss your teeth at least once a day.
- Use a mouthwash recommended by your dentist.
- Wear a night guard regularly if recommended by your dentist to protect your restorations.
- Watch your diet closely and avoid a high-sugar diet.
"This is news oral health providers can comfortably share to maintain patients' implants, crowns, and veneers and natural teeth," says Bidra.
Clinical practice guidelines have not been used as much in dentistry as in medicine. This is why the ACP led a scientific panel of experts appointed by the American Dental Association (ADA), the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) and the ACP who critically evaluated and debated findings from two comprehensive systematic reviews covering ten years of the scientific literature to assess risk for failure of tooth and implant restorations.
In honor of the upcoming National Prosthodontics Awareness Week (NPAW) April 3-9, 2016 the scientific articles and clinical practice guidelines are available online for free, notes Bidra who is the national chair for NPAW.
Download the articles for free at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jopr.2015.25.issue-S1/issuetoc