It’s National Prosthodontics Awareness Week (NPAW)! Celebrate by Learning 8 “Smile Saving” Tips

Patients want power. Prosthodontists want them to know that they’ve had it all along.

Prosthodontists are specialized dentists who help restore missing or broken teeth with dental implants, crowns, bridges, veneers and by other means.

Around the world, people are currently celebrating the American College of Prosthodontists’ (ACP) National Prosthodontists Awareness Week (NPAW). This week is the perfect time to remind dental consumers how to maintain their healthy restored teeth with 8 tips that the ACP simplified from its scientific clinical practice guidelines (CPGs), “ACP Clinical Practice Guidelines: Recall and Maintenance of Patients with Tooth-Borne and Implant-Borne Dental Restorations.”

“No one wants to return to the dentist’s chair because of a failed dental restoration,” said ACP President Susan E. Brackett, DDS, MS, FACP, who sees patients in her private practice in Oklahoma City. “It’s much better to take these surprisingly simple yet scientifically proven 8 care tips for restored teeth to heart and work them into a daily routine, rather than risk losing or breaking your gorgeous new teeth due to not taking care of them properly from the get-go.”

Some 120 million Americans are missing one or more teeth. But once the patient leaves the dental chair after the restoration of a lost or broken tooth, prosthodontists emphasize that the empowered patient is invariably the one who understands the necessity of self-care at home as well as routine visits to their dentist.

“People who follow maintenance programs generally do very well,” said Don Curtis, DMD, FACP, a co-author of the ACP clinical practice guidelines and board-certified prosthodontist. “Studies indicate that when a person is not in a maintenance program, they have a 90-percent increased chance of losing their implant over a 15-year period.”

The ACP led a team of prosthodontists, general dentists, and hygienists to research over 5,000 scientific articles to publish the first guidelines on how to properly care for restored teeth. From their rigorously researched findings, prosthodontists have identified the 8 most important must-do’s for patients to keep restored teeth healthy.

“The biggest take-away for patients from the ACP’s clinical practice guidelines is that the patient needs to be in an active partnership with their prosthodontist, dentist, and hygienist to take care of their implants or dental crowns, bridges, veneers properly,” said Avinash Bidra, BDS, MS, FACP, who is the Chair of National Prosthodontics Awareness Week (NPAW) and also an ACP’s clinical practice guidelines lead author.

Here are the ACP 8 tips for patients to maintain healthy tooth restorations:

  1. Get a dental examination and cleaning at least every six months.
  2. Floss your teeth at least once a day.
  3. Follow your prosthodontist’s tailored at-home maintenance recommendations.
  4. Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day.
  5. Use a mouthwash recommended by your prosthodontist.
  6. Wear a night guard if recommended by your prosthodontist to protect your restorations.
  7. Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
  8. Avoid eating a high-sugar diet.