Peri-implantitis is an infectious inflammatory condition that affects the gums and bone tissues surrounding a dental implant. The signs are similar to the symptoms of gum disease — red, tender gums and bleeding when brushing.
Most patients never have to worry about this complication. However, just like natural teeth, dental implants require daily attention. Regular care and examinations are also essential. Without proper care, peri-implantitis can develop — and patients with previous gum disease and poor plaque control are among those who are at the greatest risk. Smokers and diabetics are also more likely to suffer from peri-implantitis.
The good news is that, caught early enough, peri-implantitis can be successfully treated and reversed.
Local Debridement of the Dental Implant
In the earliest stages, local debridement of the implant can help resolve peri-implantitis. This procedure involves thoroughly cleaning the replacement tooth using interdental brushes, floss, a rubber cup and paste or specialized scaling instruments.
Dental Implant Surface Decontamination
Decontamination of the implant surface may also work to eliminate bacteria and reverse peri-implantitis in some patients. This may be completed through air-powder abrasion, with or without the application of a citric acid solution. An implant can also be decontaminated with a saline and citric acid treatment or by alternating applications of chlorohexidine and saline.
Local Application of Antibiotics
If no other infections are present, a local application of antibiotics to the affected tissues can provide results. Typically, the antibiotics need to be administered systemically for 10 days. When peri-implantitis is accompanied by periodontal disease, both conditions must be treated for antibiotic therapy to be effective.
Surgical Peri-Implantitis Treatment
When peri-implantitis is advanced, surgical treatment may be considered. Following debridement and decontamination of the dental implant, a bone graft or membranes can be placed to provide support. For the greatest bone regeneration and osseointegration of the jawbone with the implant, tooth restoration specialists often turn to a controlled flap procedure and treat the condition with membrane-covered autogenous graft tissue.
Left untreated, peri-implantitis can cause the bone supporting a dental implant to significantly deteriorate. If bone loss is advanced, the replacement tooth may need to be removed. Don’t let that happen to you. If you think you might have peri-implantitis or another dental implant complication, contact Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah today.
With more than 10 years of experience in dental implant surgery and tooth restoration, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield understand how to properly manage complications related to dental implants. For prompt diagnosis and treatment of peri-implantitis, contact one of our three northern Utah offices today to schedule a consultation.