15th February 2017

Should I Be Worried About Peri Implantitis?


When researching the dental implant procedure, many patients will come across articles on the subject of peri implantitis. Depending on who you are listening to, this affects between two and 58 percent of implant patients. While it might sound scary, it shouldn’t be a reason that you avoid getting dental implants. There are many warning signs of peri implantitis, and if it is caught in its early stage – known as peri-implant mucositis – then it is completely treatable. If you take good care of your teeth and aren’t a high-risk patient, then the likelihood of developing peri implantitis is low. Regular checkups with your dentist will also help to ensure your dental implants are in tip-top shape.

What is peri implantitis?

This condition is an inflammatory disease that can lead to a gradual decrease in jaw bone around the area supporting the dental implant. It isn’t yet known if the infection causes the bone to recede, or ifden bone loss exposes the area to bacteria. As dental implants have only been around since the 1970s, this is still a relatively new condition and research into the causes in ongoing.

What are the warning signs of peri implantitis?

Peri implantitis is always preceded by a much milder condition called peri-implant mucositis, which is completely treatable. This condition can cause pain around the dental implant area, swollen lymph nodes, and a bad taste in your mouth if there is pus present. It may also result in your dental implant moving around a little.

However, it may not be symptomatic, so it’s important to go for your follow-up appointments when required, even if you can’t feel anything different. If it is caught at this stage, it is entirely manageable, so regular checkups are vital for the success of your dental implants.

How is peri implantitis treated?

If you are diagnosed with peri implantitis, you may need to have your implants removed in order to clean the infected area and allow it to heal fully. How it is treated will depend on the severity of the condition.

Who is at risk of developing peri implantitis?

Understanding the risks of peri implantitis before embarking on this particular dental journey is essential to success.

Smokers are considered to be high-risk patients, as the healing process may be hindered. For this reason, it is recommended that smokers give up smoking before undergoing dental implant treatment, and don’t continue this habit after the implants have been fitted.

If you have a family history of periodontitis (gum disease) you may also be at higher risk of developing an infection, so this will need to be discussed with your dentist before undergoing any treatment.

Regular checkups are essential to ensuring your dental implants are healthy, which is why going abroad for treatment puts patients at higher risk. Without the follow-up care, you will be putting your dental health at risk unnecessarily.

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