Bacterial plaque and calculus accumulate on implants, just as they do on natural teeth. If implants are left without regular cleaning and maintenance, such bacterial deposits may lead to inflammation, peri-implantitis and, in the end, to implant loss. Implants are an expensive investment for the patient. Their maintenance requires special attention from the dentist.

With professional maintenance and proper home care, implants can last for a lifetime.

Treatment of gum diseases

The best way to treat gum disease is to practise good oral hygiene, although additional dental and medical treatments are sometimes necessary.

Oral hygiene

Good oral hygiene involves:

brushing your teeth for two to three minutes twice a day (in the morning and at night), preferably with an electric toothbrush
using toothpaste that contains fluoride (fluoride is a natural mineral that helps protect against tooth decay)
flossing your teeth regularly (preferably daily)
not smoking
regularly visiting your hygienist  (at least once every one to two years, but more frequently if necessary)


Antiseptic mouthwashes that contain chlorhexidine or hexetidine are available over the counter from pharmacies, although there is some debate about whether using mouthwash is necessary for people with healthy gums.

Your dentist may recommend using mouthwash if it helps control the build-up of plaque (the sticky substance that forms when bacteria collects on the surface of your teeth). Your hygienist  will be able to advise you about which type of mouthwash is most suitable and how to use it.

Chlorhexidine mouthwash can stain your teeth brown if you use it regularly so best you see your hygienist for advice.

Dental treatments

Some of the dental treatments described below may also be recommended if you have gum disease.

Scale and polish

To remove plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) that can build up on your teeth a cleaning is needed. This is a “professional clean” usually carried out at  by a dental hygienist.

The dental hygienist will scrape away plaque and tartar from your teeth using special instruments, then polish your teeth to remove marks or stains. If a lot of plaque or tartar has built up, you may need to have more than one scale and polish.