Dental implants have revolutionized the field of restorative dentistry, providing a durable and natural-looking solution for replacing missing teeth. However, like any surgical procedure, complications can arise, including infections around dental implants. Understanding the importance of early detection and prompt intervention can help ensure successful resolution and the long-term success of dental implant restorations. So how to treat infection around dental implants?

how to treat infection around dental implant

This Sydney Dental aims to explore the causes, signs, and treatment options for infection around dental implants. Wait no longer, read on and find out with us!

dental implant

1. What are the causes of infection around dental implants?

Infection around dental implants, known as peri-implantitis, typically occurs due to the accumulation of bacteria in the tissues surrounding the implant. This can be a result of poor oral hygiene, inadequate plaque control, or a pre-existing periodontal disease. Other factors that can contribute to infection include smoking, compromised immune system, diabetes, and certain systemic conditions.

2. What are the risk factors for peri-implantitis?

Several factors increase the risk of developing an infection around dental implants:

  • Poor oral hygiene practices and inadequate plaque control;
  • Smoking and tobacco use;
  • Diabetes and other systemic diseases that affect healing and immune function;
  • History of periodontal disease or gum infections;
  • Insufficient bone support or implant stability;
  • Genetic factors influencing susceptibility to infections.

3. What are the signs and symptoms of infection around dental implants?

Early detection of peri-implantitis is crucial for successful treatment. The following signs and symptoms may indicate an infection around a dental implant:

  • Redness, swelling, or inflammation of the gums around the implant site;
  • Bleeding or pus discharge from the implant site;
  • Increased mobility or loosening of the implant;
  • Pain or discomfort around the implant area;
  • Receding gums or exposed implant threads;
  • Persistent bad breath or metallic taste.

4. What are the diagnostic methods for infection around dental implants?

To confirm the presence of peri-implantitis, a comprehensive evaluation is necessary. Diagnostic methods may include:

  • Clinical examination: The dentist examines the implant site visually and assesses the health of the surrounding tissues;
  • Radiographic evaluation: X-rays or cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans can reveal bone loss around the implant and provide a detailed view of the infection extent;
  • Pocket depth measurements: Using a probe, the dentist measures the depth of the pockets around the implant to assess the severity of the infection;
  • Microbiological analysis: In some cases, a sample from the infected site may be collected and sent for microbiological analysis to identify the specific bacteria causing the infection.
how to treat infection around dental implant
how to treat infection around dental implant

5. How to treat infection around dental implants?

5.1. Non-surgical treatmentsIn the early stages of peri-implantitis, non-surgical interventions may be effective:

  • Professional cleaning: Thorough cleaning of the implant surface and the surrounding tissues to remove plaque and calculus deposits;
  • Antibacterial irrigation: Antiseptic solutions or antimicrobial agents may be used to irrigate the infected area and reduce bacterial load;
  • Laser therapy: Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) or photodynamic therapy (PDT) can help reduce inflammation and promote healing;
  • Adjunctive therapies: Local or systemic administration of antibiotics may be considered to control infection, particularly in more advanced cases.

5.2.  Surgical interventions

If the infection persists or if there is significant bone loss, surgical treatments may be required:

  • Flap surgery: The gums are gently lifted to access and clean the infected area. The implant surface is decontaminated, and any damaged or infected tissues are removed. Bone grafting may be performed if necessary to support regeneration;
  • Guided bone regeneration (GBR): In GBR, a barrier membrane is placed over the treated area to prevent soft tissue infiltration and promote bone regeneration. The membrane helps to guide the growth of new bone while blocking out unwanted tissue.

5.3. Explantation and implant replacement

In severe cases where the infection is not responding to non-surgical or surgical interventions, it may be necessary to remove the implant. This is typically considered as a last resort when all other treatment options have been exhausted. After the infected implant is removed, the area is thoroughly cleaned, and if conditions permit, a new implant can be placed once the infection has resolved.

6. Post-treatment care and prevention

Follow-up and maintenance

After the treatment of infection around dental implants, regular follow-up visits with the dentist are crucial. These visits allow for the monitoring of the healing process, assessment of tissue stability, and early detection of any signs of recurrence. Dental professionals will provide personalized recommendations for maintenance and hygiene practices to help prevent future infections.

Good oral hygiene practices

Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is vital for the long-term success of dental implants and prevention of infection. Patients should adhere to the following oral hygiene practices:

  • Brushing: Thoroughly brush the teeth, gums, and implant surfaces using a soft-bristle toothbrush and a non-abrasive toothpaste;
  • Flossing: Use interdental brushes or floss specifically designed for implant care to clean the spaces between the teeth and around the implant;
  • Antiseptic rinses: Use an antimicrobial mouthwash recommended by your dentist to reduce bacterial load and promote oral health.

Regular dental check-ups

Schedule regular dental visits for professional cleanings and comprehensive examinations. Dental professionals will assess the implant’s stability, evaluate the gum health, and address any concerns promptly.

Lifestyle adjustments

Certain lifestyle factors can influence the success of dental implants. It is advisable to quit smoking or reduce tobacco use, as smoking is a significant risk factor for implant complications. Additionally, maintaining a healthy diet, managing systemic conditions, and controlling diabetes can contribute to overall oral health.

how to treat infection around dental implant
how to treat infection around dental implant

7. A word from Sydney

Infection around dental implants can pose a significant risk to the long-term success of implant restorations. Whether through non-surgical interventions, surgical procedures, or implant replacement, dental professionals have various treatment options to address peri-implantitis. By adhering to good oral hygiene practices, attending regular dental check-ups, and making necessary lifestyle adjustments, patients can reduce the risk of infection and maintain the health and longevity of their dental implants. Consultation with a qualified dental professional is crucial for accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment planning to ensure optimal outcomes.

Hopefully this read on how to treat infection around dental implants is informative and helpful to you learning about this tooth restoration option. If you are still unsure of anything in search of a new unforgettably stunning smile, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are at 499-501 Ba Hat St, Ward 8, District 10, HCMC, Vietnam looking forward to your visit. You may also call us at 0937826414 for a free no-obligation comprehensive consultation. Your pretty, shiny smile is 100% guaranteed at Sydney Dental!


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