How to Treat an Infection Around a Dental Implant

How to Treat an Infection Around a Dental Implant

Dec 01, 2022

A dental implant is an excellent way to replace missing teeth. Implants function like real teeth, restoring your perfect smile and allowing you to enjoy your favorite foods, which you couldn’t before. They also preserve jawbone health, improving your facial muscles for a youthful and confident smile.

While implants come with numerous benefits, excellent oral hygiene and habits are essential to maintain the health and lifespan of your implant. Since an implant contains artificial materials like titanium and porcelain, it won’t develop cavities or decay. However, there’s still a risk of infection around the implant. If not treated promptly, they can cause disease, jawbone loss, tooth loss, and even implant loss.

Keep reading to learn why an infection can develop around an implant and how you can treat it.

What is Dental Implant Infection (Peri-Implantitis)?

Dental implant infection is often known as peri-implantitis, similar to gum disease. Peri-implantitis is the infection and inflammation of the gum tissue, bone, and other connective tissues surrounding a dental implant. Fortunately, good oral hygiene, routine dental exams, and cleanings can help prevent peri-implantitis. We offer high-quality teeth implants near you.

What causes dental implant infection?

Various factors can cause infection around a dental implant. Smoking and poor dental hygiene are the key reasons behind peri-implantitis. Smoking affects blood and oxygen flow around the gums, affecting the immune system and hindering the delivery of essential nutrients to the gums and jawbone. It reduces the body’s ability to heal and fight off infections, causing inflammation and disease in the nearby structures.

Poor dental hygiene can also encourage bacterial plaque and tartar buildup around the implant, irritating the surrounding tissues and causing an infection. Medical conditions like osteoporosis, gum disease, weak immune systems, and diabetes can increase your risk of developing peri-implantitis.

Signs your Dental Implant is infected

Common signs that your dental implants may be infected include:

  • Unexplained bad breath: A foul breath or taste is a common symptom of oral infections. If you have bad breath that won’t improve after brushing or flossing, your implant is likely infected, or you have other oral problems.
  • Pus around the implant: A pus or an abscess around an implant is a clear sign that your implant may be infected.
  • Bleeding: You should also see your dentist if you notice bleeding around the implant, especially when brushing or eating.
  • Pain around the implant is a sign that all is not well. Sometimes the pain can be felt when biting down or chewing.
  • Fever: Most bacterial infections are accompanied by fever and pain. Seek immediate dental care if you have a fever and other serious symptoms like pus around the implant.
  • Sore, swollen, or red gums: Swollen or red gums around an implant are key signs of infection.
  • Loose implant: An implant should be stable like a natural tooth. If your implant is loose or wobbly, it’s most likely infected.

Infection around an implant can cause numerous complications. Therefore, you should seek treatment right away if you have these symptoms. The dentist will examine your implant and create a suitable treatment plan. The earlier the infection is treated, the higher the chances of success.

Treating Dental Implant Infection

The dentist can recommend various treatment options to treat the infection based on your condition. Popular solutions for dental implants infections include:

  • Antibiotics:

    Just as antibiotics prevent other infections, they can kill and stop bacteria from growing and spreading around an implant.

  • Mechanical cleaning:

    The surgeon can use an ultrasonic device or carbon fiber curette to clean shallow mucosal pockets (submucosal debridement). The procedure uses high-frequency waves to clean and disinfect the area around the implant. The dentist can use delicate scaling instruments or mechanical flossing if the mucosal pockets are deep.

  • Surgery:

    Surgery is typically necessary if the implant is placed in an unattractive position. The surgeon makes flap-like incisions to open and access the contaminated areas. The treatment is combined with mechanical cleaning and antiseptics.

  • Implant removal:

    Implant removal may be necessary if the infection can cause significant bone loss or damage around the implant. You can later have a bone graft to rebuild the bone to qualify for another dental implant near you.

Schedule an Appointment Today With Our Dentist in Concord, MA

Do you have further questions about dental implants in Concord, MA? Schedule a dentist appointment at Concord Wood Dental Group.

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