In the United States, dental implants are a popular solution for those suffering from missing or decaying teeth. In fact, for over thirty years, dental implants have been considered a safe and long-lasting – in some cases permanent – way to gain a natural looking smile. Some dental offices offer same-day dental implant installations that leave patients feeling more confident about their teeth.
However, if dental implants are not cleaned daily just like regular teeth, complications may develop. There have been many cases where people who have gotten dental implants have developed peri-implant disease.
Peri-implant diseases are inflammatory conditions affecting the soft and hard gum tissues around dental implants. If not cleaned properly, bacteria can build up below the gum line just like natural teeth. The longer the bacteria is left untreated, the more it irritates the gum tissue, causing inflammation, damage to the tissue, and possible bone deterioration.
There are two categories of peri-implant disease. The first category is peri-implant mucositis, which is when gum inflammation only develops around the soft tissues of the implant, showing no signs of bone deterioration. Fortunately, peri-implant mucositis is treatable and reversible if caught early enough. Treatment often includes mechanical implant cleaning with titanium or plastic-curettes, ultrasonics, or air-polishing. Peri-implant mucositis precedes peri-implantitis, which is the second category. Peri-implantitis is when gum inflammation develops around the soft tissue, resulting in bone deterioration. Patients who develop peri-implantitis must undergo surgery for treatment.
Patients who have a history of periodontitis have an increased chance of developing peri-implantitis. Other factors that put patients at risk are poor oral hygiene, smoking, and diabetes. Out of all of the risk factors, smoking is the greatest contributor to the development of the disease. Smoking increases the growth of bacteria around the implants, which can eventually lead to bone loss and implant failure.
As mentioned earlier, it’s imperative that patients who have dental implants maintain a healthy hygienic routine in order to prevent the development of peri-implant disease. It’s also important to get regular checkups at a dental office for preventative care. A dentist can inspect the implant and look for signs of early peri-implant disease and either treat or reverse it in order to maintain long-lasting dental implants. Studies have shown that without proper care, early implant loss can occur as early as one year after installation, and delayed implant loss can occur after one year of installation.
At McBride Dental, we have years of experience with helping our patients maintain the healthy teeth they desire. As long as our patients commit to routine checkups at least twice a year, we have methods to help protect their smile from damage, periodontal disease, and other dental complications, including peri-implant disease. It’s our priority to detect any complications early on before they become more painful. We also encourage preventative homecare methods. If you’re interested or in need of preventative care, call 760-471-1003 to schedule an appointment.