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Purpose: Dental implant care and maintenance is of critical importance as implants grow in popularity as a tooth replacement option. The purpose of this study was to investigate the implant-related training and clinical practices of oral health practitioners (OHPs) in Australia regarding oral hygiene instructions (OHI) and maintenance protocols, and to better understand their role in providing peri-implant services.Methods: A 42-item web-based survey was forwarded to the members of the Dental Hygienists Association of Australia and the Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists' Association. Survey items included participant's demographics, types of peri-implant services provided in the workplace, implant-related information sources, peri-implant diagnostic preferences, implant maintenance protocols and oral hygiene instructions (OHI) for dental implants. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data. Comparisons were made with a similar survey of the implant maintenance preferences of general dentists in Australia.Results: One hundred fifty-four Australian OHPs completed the electronic survey (n=154). Nearly all respondents (96.7%) considered implant home hygiene and peri-implant health to be strongly associated. Dental qualification (64.9%) and association-sponsored professional development courses (50.6%) were the most common sources of implant assessment/management information. Brushing (88.7%) and the use of an interdental brush (78.1%) were the most popular implant-specific OHI provided. All of the respondents reported performing oral hygiene assessments around dental implants; 94.0% performed supragingival cleaning, 67.5% subgingival cleaning, 55.0% treated peri-implant mucositis and 38.4% peri-implantitis. Dental floss (80.9%), rubber-cup prophylaxis (59.6%), plastic/carbon curettes (52.5%) and plastic-tipped ultrasonics (43.3%) were the most common devices used for implant maintenance.Conclusion: Australian OHPs reported providing peri-implant services generally in agreement with the current literature and demonstrated a greater focus on prevention as compared with Australian dentists. Oral health practitioners in Australia expect to be highly involved in dental implant maintenance care and provide the majority of preventive, periodontal and OHI services in their workplaces. Copyright © 2021 The American Dental Hygienists’ Association.


Monique C Cheung, Matthew S Hopcraft, Ivan B Darby. Dental Implant Hygiene and Maintenance Protocols: A survey of oral health practitioners in Australia. Journal of dental hygiene : JDH. 2021 Feb;95(1):25-35

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PMID: 33627450

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