Can dental implants become infected?
If you have remedied your missing tooth with a dental implant, you might think you have solved your dental health challenge. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. While it’s rare, your dental implant can become infected, inflaming the surrounding tissues and causing bone loss — most likely by a condition called peri-implantitis.
But can an infected implant be salvaged? Dr. Shivani Gupta has installed thousands of dental implants over the years — here is what she has to say about dental implant infection.
What is peri-implantitis?
This condition is similar to gum disease in that it affects the gum tissue and the bone surrounding the implant. This infection can be caused by poor oral hygiene and bone density, implant overloading, placing implants close to each other, smoking, diabetes, etc.
Common symptoms of peri-implantitis include:
- Bleeding gums when brushing
- Swollen and red gums
- Bad breath
- Loose implant
Unfortunately, many patients don’t realize they have peri-implantitis until the implant becomes loose.
Diagnosing an infected implant
If you spot any symptoms of an infected tooth implant, schedule an appointment with Peninsula Dental Implant Center. Dr. Shivani Gupta will request 3D dental x-rays to look for signs of radiographic bone loss. Also, Dr. Gupta will probe the area around the implant to evaluate the extent of the infection. Ultimately, early infection detection is pivotal in salvaging the implant.
Treating an infected dental implant
The good news is that Dr. Gupta can salvage your implant if infection is detected early. The type of remedy depends on the amount of bone loss and the aesthetic impact on the implant. Treatment may involve surgical and non-surgical options, such as antimicrobial therapy, bone grafting, and surface decontamination.
Depending on the level of severity, antibiotics or surgical intervention may be required to clear the infection. If there is mild bone loss, bone grafting may be recommended. But if bone loss is advanced and is causing your implant to loosen, we may remove the implant, perform bone grafting, and install another implant once the infection has cleared and the bone has healed.
Learn more about dental implant infections
Do you still have unanswered questions about dental implant infections? Please dial (650) 232-7650 to book a consultation with Peninsula Dental Implant Center. Dr. Shivani Gupta will answer all your dental implant queries, including how to prevent infection from compromising your implants.
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