What is Peri-Implant Disease?
Peri-Implant disease is when inflammation & infection sets in around a dental implant. It causes bone loss and threatens the implant’s lifespan and crown. We always hope that dental implants will last a lifetime. But sometimes, the infection can set in and cause bone loss and threatens their lifespan.
Some signs that indicate the disease in the mouth are bleeding gums, drainage, tenderness in the gums when cleaning, and bone loss is seen in an x-ray. Pain is rarely a symptom since, unlike a tooth, the implant itself does not have any nerves.
Since it does not cause pain, many patients with peri-implant disease may not know they have an infection around their implant. And that’s why it is very important to have frequent follow-ups with your dentist, hygienist, or periodontist so they can help maintain your implant and catch any signs of trouble early.
Like other medical procedures like artificial joints or heart valves, implants are a mechanical replacement of a body part and can encounter complications. But if implants are maintained well, they can serve you for many, many years under good health conditions.
What Causes Peri-Implant Disease?
Just like gum disease around a tooth, the peri-implant disease is often a result of the big three:
- Compromised Immune System or Bone Condition
- Insufficient dental care or oral hygiene
- Destructive habits like clenching, grinding, or chewing ice or hard candies, or a heavy bite.
Dental implants are prosthetic parts designed to replace a missing tooth or support a denture. We like to think about them as a mechanical part that requires maintenance. The implant must be kept clean & have good support.
And it is important to recognize that the bone around an implant can wear out if it takes on too much “mileage.” Early diagnosis is the key to treating implant disease and returning the implant to a healthy state.
Below is a list of risk factors that may contribute to Peri-Implant Disease:
- Food debris and plaque accumulation under the gum
- Clenching, grinding, ice chewing, or a heavy bite
- Autoimmune conditions or a compromised immune system
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Untreated, gum disease in other areas of the mouth or a history of gum disease
- Lack of a strong bone foundation
- Lack of a strong attached gum tissue seal around the implant
- Inconsistent supportive hygiene visits with a dental hygienist
- Cement or a loose abutment screw
- Inauthentic implant parts and screws
Is Peri-Implant Disease Reversible? Can an Infected Implant Be Saved?
Getting dental implants does not mean that you are going to get the peri-implant disease. It is avoidable and treatable if caught quickly. The longer the implant infection goes untreated, however, the more serious the side effects will become. Ultimately dental implants can be lost and bone structure damaged.
The lost bone & tissue can often be regenerated if the implant disease is diagnosed early enough and if the implant still has good jawbone support remaining.
Early diagnosis is the key to treating dental implants and returning the implant to a healthy state.
Implants must receive the support they need for long and healthy life. No two patients are the same. When a dental implant is placed or after an implant with the disease is treated, our periodontist at Periodontal Specialists will set you up with the tools you need for success.
We will also help you develop a maintenance plan for your dental implant customized for you. Your implant support team includes you, your periodontist, your dentist, and your hygienist.
How is Peri-Implant Disease Treated?
It is crucial to have an experienced and detail-oriented Periodontist in charge of your dental implant procedures from start to finish. At Periodontal Specialists, we go to great lengths to perform your dental implant treatment with the highest level of personalized care and expertise.
Peri-Implant Disease is known as a “surgical diagnosis,” meaning it usually requires a small surgical procedure to treat.
Treatments are designed to:
- disinfect the implant
- regenerate lost bone and gum tissue when possible
- return the implant to a state of health.
We follow the most up-to-date research on treating Peri-Implant Disease, which is ever-evolving. Treatment methods include surgical debridement, bone & gum regeneration, antibiotics, deep cleaning, and laser-assisted therapy.
Your treatment may involve one or more of these procedures, depending on the situation. Your periodontist is a specialist in helping to determine which treatment is best for you and your implant.
Call or Message Us to Schedule a Consultation
Our team at Periodontal Specialists treats many patients suffering from this condition. It is part of our specialty that we focus on in our practice. (add period)
We understand that the idea of surgery may create some worries for you, and we want you to know that we take your trust very seriously & go above and beyond to ensure the comfort of our patients.
In fact, the latest techniques for treating peri-implant disease are very minimally invasive, and almost all patients report back to us that they experienced no pain during or after their procedure.
If you are looking for a Periodontist, please reach out to us to see Dr. Wolfe or Dr. Johnson for a consultation. Getting successful dental implants that last for years begins here!
If you think you may be experiencing peri-implant disease symptoms, please don’t hesitate to call us right away or request an appointment.
If you have any questions or concerns about periodontal issues or procedures, we are here to help you.