Understanding The Risks Of And Treatments For Peri-Implantitis

Dentist Articles

Despite the fact that dental implants are considered a standard, effective treatment for replacing missing teeth, they aren't without their risks. Dental implants are vulnerable to a condition called peri-implantitis, or progressive bone loss under the implant. Here are some things you need to know about avoiding, recognizing and treating peri-implantitis.

What Exactly is Peri-Implantitis?

Peri-implantitis is inflammatory, much like periodontal and gum disease. Typically caused by a bacterial infection around the implant, it can lead to jaw bone loss, which may result in a loss of the implant.

How Can You Spot the Signs of Peri-Implantitis?

Peri-implantitis doesn't appear without warning signs or symptoms. In fact, most cases of peri-implantitis can be preceded by symptoms such as red, swollen gums and some bleeding along your gum line. Spotting these signs early can help you address the problem before it actually becomes peri-implantitis.

Can You Avoid Peri-Implantitis?

Getting dental implants doesn't automatically mean that you're going to face peri-implantitis. If you can take proper care of your implants, you'll reduce the risk of complications like this. Unfortunately, the bone loss associated with the condition is gradual, and it isn't something you'll notice on your own.

For that reason, it's important that you are attentive to your routine dental visits after implant surgery. Your dentist will examine the implant area and help ensure that the space is kept clean. You'll also have frequent x-rays to keep track of your jaw bone's condition.

At the first signs of inflammation, tenderness and pain around the site of the implant, you should reach out to your dentist. He or she can assess your symptoms to determine if you're suffering from peri-implantitis.

What Are the Treatment Options for Peri-Implantitis?

Being diagnosed with peri-implantitis doesn't necessarily mean that there's nothing that you can do about it. There are a few treatments that your dentist may recommend:

  • Oral Hygiene Changes – One of the most important things you can do for your overall implant success is ensure that you're maintaining good oral hygiene practices. You'll need to brush and floss regularly, and make sure that you follow any other hygiene recommendations, including daily oral rinse treatments or other added steps.
  • Dental Cleaning – A thorough cleaning can help eliminate any accumulated bacteria from the implant. Your dentist will use a cleaning instrument that's softer than the implant so that they don't damage the surface. This may not eliminate the problem on its own, but it may when combined with other treatments.
  • Antibacterial Treatment – The primary cause of peri-implantitis is bacterial infection. In order to treat the problem, your dentist will typically combine the cleaning with a thorough antibacterial treatment. You may receive oral or topical medication depending on the extent of the infection. Your doctor will need to do a complete examination to determine the best course of action. He or she may find that you have deep pockets of bacteria. If so, oral antibiotic and a local injection may be necessary.
  • Surgical Intervention – In most situations, surgery is a last resort for peri-implantitis. If you have a particularly severe case, your dentist may suggest that you undergo surgery. This is often necessary if the infection has spread to your jawbone. Most surgical interventions involve bone and gum grafts, which may lengthen your recovery time.

Understanding the dental implant procedure and the complication risks can make a big difference in the success of your treatment. Talk with your dentist about your risk of peri-implantitis right away so that you can be proactive about your treatment. The more active you are about prevention, the better your chances will be of a safe recovery afterward.


19 November 2015

Improving My Dental Appointments

After dealing with a few root canals, I realized that it was time to take my dental hygiene a more seriously. I talked with my dentist about what I could do differently, and he was full of great suggestions that would help. He walked me through different ways to brush, floss, and take care of tartar buildup, and it was really amazing to see the difference that it made. I also started taking a fluoride supplement to strengthen my enamel. When I made it to my next appointment, my dentist was blown away with the improvement. This blog is all about improving your dental appointments by keeping your teeth healthier.