What Is Peri-implantitis?

Peri-implantitis is an inflammation, very similar to periodontal disease, that affects the soft and hard tissues surrounding an implant. This condition is usually caused by the loss of the supporting bone, bleeding when probed or sometimes an increased pocket depth between the teeth and the implant.

Causes of Peri-implantitis

Cases of peri-implantitis can be quite complex, but some of the things that cause the condition are:

  • Poor oral hygiene.
  • Smoking or drug abuse.
  • Bruxism (the clenching or grinding of the teeth).
  • Diabetes or osteoporosis.
  • Dental predisposition to periodontal disease in the patient’s history.
  • Faulty dental implants or cement left inside the gums following the implant, can also cause peri-implantitis.

How is Peri-implantitis Diagnosed?

Early detection is essential to saving the implant, so if you are having any concerns about it, call us right away. When you come in, one of our periodontists will gently probe the implant to determine if an infection is present.

The most common problems with this condition is that an infection is not immediately apparent to the patient, because there is no pain at the onset, but we should be able to determine what is causing the infection.

Treating Peri-implantitis

The first thing that needs to be done is clean the area thoroughly, which can be difficult, depending on what kind of implant was used. The next step is to disinfect the affected area. You may be prescribed antibiotics.

If there is severe bone loss, a surgical procedure may be needed in addition to the steps previously mentioned. In some cases, where bone loss is severe it may not be possible to save the implant and it will need to be removed and left to heal. Depending on your situation, another implant may be added at a later date.

If you have dental implants it is extremely important to have good oral health habits at home and keep your regular checkups, where you will be examined for early signs of peri-implantitis. The earlier you get treated, the better chances to save the implant.