Dental implants are an incredible advancement for the treatment of missing, cracked, or highly damaged teeth. However, no treatment in medicine or dentistry is without risks. One of the rare problems associated with dental implants is known as peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis is an “infectious disease that causes an inflammatory process in soft tissues, and bone loss around an osseointegrated implant in function.” Dental implant success rates are incredibly high, but when there are problems, they are usually associated with abnormal amounts of bacteria around the implant.
While the vast majority of patients never develop peri-implantitis, there are a few signs that a problem is occurring. Patients with peri-implantitis experience deeper pockets around the gums, including bleeding and pus, or possibly a reddish/purple hue around the gumline. However, during the onset of the disease, patients often don’t even experience or notice any pain, which means that it is essential to continue to see a dentist on a regular basis for checkups.
Treatment for peri-implantitis begins with detailed x-rays to diagnose the problem. X-rays are extremely helpful in identifying improper cement, loose abutment screws, or other potential issues with the placement of the dental implant. The ultimate treatment goal is to stop the bone loss and to keep the implant intact. Antibiotics are often used to stop bacterial growth, and some patients require bone grafting and minor surgery.
The best way for patients to keep peri-implantitis at bay is to practice exquisite oral hygiene and to stop smoking, as smoking is a huge risk factor for the disease.
If you have any questions about dental implants or if you would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.