In some cases, a patient receiving dental implants will show symptoms of an inflammatory disease that attacks the bone itself. The soft tissue and gum around the implant become inflamed causing bone loss around the implant. The implant remains in place because the titanium can graft itself to the bone. However, when the bone is lost, the implant loosens and is also eventually lost.
Such conditions are known as peri-implant diseases because they are caused by the implant itself. There are two stages to the condition. The first is called peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis. We will discuss these conditions below.
The condition that causes bone loss is called peri-implantitis. However, before bone loss occurs, doctors will see inflammation of the guns. This is generally a sign that peri-implantitis could be on the horizon. In cases where peri-mucositis is caught early, the damage is preventable. If the condition is allowed to advance to peri-implantitis, the bone loss may not be reversible which would complicate future attempts to install implants.
What is peri-implantitis?
It’s a form of advanced and quick-acting gum disease. Gum disease can take decades to advance to a stage where it is attacking and destroying bone. However, the dental implant can become infected with the same bacteria and because the wound is new, the bacteria colony can grow quickly. So, imagine a form of gum disease that takes months to get to the worst stages instead of years.
Risk factors for peri-implantitis?
The risk factors for peri-implantitis are, unremarkably, the same as the risk factors for gum disease. Those who have had periodontitis (gum disease) in the past are at increased risk. So are those who smoke or have diabetes.
Treatment for peri-implantitis
The hope is that we catch the problem before it turns into peri-implantitis. The earlier we treat the infection, the lower the chances are that the infection will harm the bone. That being said, once the disease has progressed to peri-implantitis, treatment options are limited to controlling the infection before it can do serious damage, surgery, anti-septic rinses, and antibiotics.
Realistically, the lost bone must be regrown to support the implant. This is a similar process to the one performed on a patient who already has advanced bone loss due to periodontal disease. However, if bone loss is minimal, the damaged tissue can be removed and your dentist can focus on the war against the bacteria.
If you are suffering any gum irritation after a dental implant, you should talk to your doctor immediately to begin the process of treating the inflammation.
Talk to a Flagstaff, AZ Dentist Today
If you have any concerns about your dental implant treatment and dental implant complications, feel free to ask the experts at Peak Family Dental Care in Sedona today and we can discuss any concerns you may have.