Peri-implantitis: a real threat to your implant investment

Peri-implantitis is definitely a potent threat to your implant investment. Opting for dental implants is indeed an investment, one of not only money but also time. If you’ve had a dental implant or implants (All-on-4), you also know that some discomfort is involved in the process. All in all, it’s probably not something you’d care to risk on your treatment success.


What is peri-implantitis?


Peri-implantitis is a destructive inflammation that affects the gums and bone tissues that surround a dental implant. Gums swell and discolor, becoming infected and leading to oozing suppuration. Finally, remember that Peri-implantitis also results in bone loss at the implant site.


Risk factors and causes


Nomber one: Of all the risk factors for peri-implantitis, tobacco use and poor dental hygiene are the two most common causes of it. The need for regular, attentive oral hygiene can’t be stressed enough. Inadequate plaque control is one of the primary causes of peri-implantitis. Number two: Diabetes types 1 and 2 or osteoporosis. Poorly controlled diabetes can contribute to slow healing of soft tissue at the implant site, causing inflammation and putting you at risk for infection. Osteoporosis, a bone disease, leads to more porous jaw and mouth bone structure. Uncontrolled, it can result in bone loss and fracture at the site of your implant.


Preventing peri-implantitis


Firts, you’ll need to brush and floss regularly. Your dentist will explain the best oral hygiene practices. Second, you’ll need to make regular visits to your dental hygienist. That’s it to ensure calculus and plaque removal. If you smoke, remember that you can get better results if you quit smoking.


Treatment options


  • Peri-implantitis is hard to treat, which is why it’s such a threat to your implant. Depending on the severity, treatment options vary radically from non-surgical to surgery to regenerate lost bone.
  • Mechanical debridement involves the use of ultrasonic scalers. Your dentist will use a non-metallic tip to remove calculus and plaque. Polishing will also help with plaque removal.
  • Usually performed with mechanical debridement, an antiseptic treatment involves a 3- to 4-week regimen of chlorhexidine digluconate. Whether an oral rinse or a gel, the daily treatment has been shown to improve the condition of mucous and gum tissues.
  • Antibiotics also have a role in treating peri-implantitis. Treatment involves an antibiotic that targets gram-negative anaerobic bacteria – metronidazole or ornidazole. Antibiotic treatment is used during the last 10 days of the antiseptic regimen.
  • Avoiding reinfection is a matter of prophylactic procedures, such as the insertion of tetracycline periodontal fibers. Another option is minocycline microspheres, used with mechanical debridement.
  • Surgical treatments may include excision of dead bone, regenerative techniques, or a combination of the two to create the bony support for the implant. At the time of surgery, debridement and decontamination of the affected area are also likely.


In the case of peri-implantitis, good oral hygiene is the best protection against the threat it represents to your dental investment.



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