Dental Implants & Peri-Implantitis

created by Rohan, Dental-Pedia Staff Writer
Dental Implants & Peri-Implantitis. Long-term dental implant complication of titanium implants.

Dental implants have incredibly high success rates ranging from 90% to 95%, making them the safest and most effective teeth replacement option. They replace the root structures of your missing teeth, providing firm and permanent bases for the prosthetics. As such, dental implants replace the entire teeth structure — not just the visible crown.

When performed and maintained correctly, dental implants should last a lifetime. In rare cases, dental implants can fail due to numerous reasons. Peri-implantitis is the most common long-term complication of titanium dental implants. This article discusses peri-implantitis, its symptoms, treatments, and prevention tips.

What is Peri-Implantitis?

Peri-implantitis is a localized lesion that leads to the gradual loss of bone tissues around an implant. It’s an infectious disease that creates inflammation in the soft tissues, leading to bone loss and implant failure. Peri-implantitis may happen for various reasons, such as improper surgical techniques, improper bite distribution, and bacterial infections caused by micro-gaps in the implant structure.

Recent studies show that 40% or more dental implants have a risk of peri-implantitis after five years. The statistic cited above may sound alarming, but it merely indicates the risk of peri-implantitis. With early diagnosis and treatment, the affected dental implant can be saved from complete failure. Furthermore, the risk of peri-implantitis can be reduced by choosing the right implants.

What is Peri-Implantitis? It is a destructive inflammatory process affecting the soft and hard tissues surrounding dental implants.
Symptoms of Peri-Implantitis: Swelling, bleeding, aching around Dental Implant.

What are the Symptoms of Peri-Implantitis?

  • Redness and swelling around the implant site
  • Metallic taste in the mouth
  • Pus-filled cysts around the implant site
  • Bleeding while brushing
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Aching sensations around the implant site
  • Tenderness of gums around the implant

What Causes of Peri-Implantitis?

  • Poor oral hygiene habits
  • Tobacco usage
  • Underlying medical conditions, such as osteoporosis
  • Untreated gum disease and periodontitis
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Poor implant stability
  • Bacterial infection through micro-gaps in the titanium implant

What are the Treatments for Peri-Implantitis?

  • Antibiotics: Mild-to-moderate gum infections can be treated with antibiotics consumed in pill form or applied around the implant site.
  • Debridement: The implant surface is cleaned to remove all the bacterial plaque using titanium brushes, curettes, ultrasonic devices, and air abrasion.
  • Laser Therapy: Laser technologies are used to destroy the bacteria causing gum infection around the affected implant.
  • Surgery: In severe cases, the gum flaps around the implant are surgically pulled back to remove the plaque and bacteria. This may be followed by bone grafting to encourage bone regeneration.
  • Removal: If all treatments fail, the affected implant has to be removed to treat the infection. You can get another dental implant once the site has healed completely.
Treatments for Peri-Implantitis: Laser, Surgery, Antibiotics, Removal
Prevention of Peri-Implantitis: excellent oral hygiene, regular checkups, early treatment

How to Prevent Peri-Implantitis?

#1. Optimal Dental Implant Maintenance

  • Brush and floss twice a day to prevent bacterial plaque and tartar accumulation.
  • Use oral hygiene aids, such as interdental brushes and water flossers.
  • Go for regular dental cleanings and checkups to ensure everything is in order.
  • Stop smoking because it increases the risk of peri-implantitis.
  • Treat potential dental problems, such as inflammation, at the earliest stage possible.

#2. Zirconia Implants instead of Titanium Implants

The risk of peri-implantitis is generally higher for titanium implants because they provide more opportunities for bacterial infection. Bacteria can adhere to the titanium surface with relative ease. And bacteria can also spread within the micro-gaps between the implant and abutment surface, i.e., the area with the screws. As such, patients with titanium implants generally have higher risks of peri-implantitis.

Zirconia (ceramic) implants with cemented connections have lower risks of peri-implantitis. That’s because bacteria don’t bond with zirconia as easily as with titanium, and the lack of screws reduces the scope of bacterial accumulation within micro-gaps. While zirconia implants are relatively new, recent studies have shown optimal biointegration at par with titanium implants. You can reduce the risk of peri-implantitis by asking your dentist for zirconia implants instead of titanium implants.

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created by Rohan, Dental-Pedia Staff Writer

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