Whilst dental implants are usually impervious to dental infections, the tissues around the implant are still prone to infection.
Therefore, here at the Gentle Dental, we know that proper post-treatment care is crucial for any implant treatment to ensure the longevity of the procedure.
If you’re worried you’re experiencing peri-implantitis, don’t wait – book an appointment for an assessment now.
Symptoms of peri-implantitis
An infected dental implant will often present the following signs:
- Bleeding or pus
- Fever and throbbing pain
- Redness and swelling in the gums
- Bad breath or difficulty chewing your food
- The implant feels loose
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms then please let your dentist know or get in touch with us straight away on: 020 8224 7562 – we can help save your implant.
- Poor oral hygiene
- Ill-fitting crowns or over the bulbous prosthesis
- A loose screw-retained crown (plaque trap)
- Excess cement that had not been removed during the crown fitting
- Incorrect implant position
- Incorrect implant design
Peri-implant mucositis vs peri-implantitis
Peri-implant mucositis is like gingivitis and can be treated and prevented through good oral hygiene and professional cleaning.
Those patients who have lost teeth to periodontitis before might be susceptible but should know that implants are much less resistant to the development of gum disease.
Once the peri-implant mucositis progresses, it turns into peri-implantitis, and several treatment approaches can often be adopted depending on the severity of bone loss surrounding the implant.
When an implant becomes infected quickly after being inserted, then treatment is often simple, and antibiotics are prescribed to fight the infection. In extreme cases, the implant will need to be replaced altogether.
For those experiencing later infections to their implants, they will also be prescribed antibiotics; however, if the surgery is too severe then surgery is often a recommendation.
The treatment will involve removing and debriding the infected tissue, which can be carried out under local anaesthesia. Often it does not always involve the surgery of the gums.
Laser therapy, however, can also be used to facilitate better healing and bio-stimulation of the bone.
Why you need to understand plaque
Gums attach to the teeth at a lower point. This forms a space called the sulcus, where food often gets trapped.
When the food is not cleaned away, it becomes trapped in this space and then causes a gum infection (gingivitis).
Plaque is a very thin film of bacteria which constantly forms on the surface of the teeth.
As this plaque advances, it gets harder and turns into tartar. This cannot be removed through cleaning alone.
Left unchecked and ignored, gingivitis can quickly cause the gums to separate from the teeth, which leaves the tooth vulnerable as it becomes unstable, loose and wobbly.
This is often a sure sign of receding gums. If the infection progresses, you will ultimately lose your teeth.
Peri-implant mucositis, which is similar to gingivitis, can transform into per-implantitis if no action is taken to reverse the signs in the earlier stages. It’s a serious complication that will require the assistance of a dental professional to try and reverse.
Often, it is the result of insufficient dental care and is primarily caused by bacteria and food particles that accumulate around the implants and gum lines.
Consistent dental care will be required to minimise and eliminate any harmful pathogens, which are found in plaque and tartar. Some treatment suggestions include laser treatments and open flap debridement/some guided bone regeneration.
Preventative care is possible and peri-implantitis can be avoided with normal oral hygiene routines performed at home. Dental implants do not require any special care or maintenance, and the best way to keep them safe and clean include brushing, flossing and using mouthwash.
It can also be an idea to periodically have the implant cleaned by a professional. At least here, you can trust that the cleaning will be thorough and include scaling the implant’s surface.
This should typically take place every six months.
Patients can also avoid infection immediately after having the implant inserted by avoiding disturbing the implant, rinsing 2-3 times with salt water, applying cold or hot compresses and being gentle when brushing.
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