If you have a dental implant, your hope is to use it for the rest of your life. This is usually the case for the majority of dental implant patients, but a few people do experience implant failure. Peri-implantitis, an inflammatory infection around the implant, is one of the most common causes of implant failure. Here are four treatment options that your dentist may prescribe for peri-implantitis:
This involves cleaning the implant surface to get rid of bacterial accumulation that may be causing the disease in the first place. The cleaning should be done in a dental office, by a professional dentist using the correct instruments. The cleaning instrument should be softer than the implant being cleaned so as not to roughen its surface. This treatment alone may not get rid of your peri-implantitis; it works best when combined with other dental treatments.
Bacterial infection is one of the primary causes of peri-implantitis. It makes sense, therefore, that any treatment program should be followed by an appropriate administration of antibacterial medication. The drugs can be administered orally, topically or via local delivery. It all depends on the extent and nature of the distribution of the bacteria.
This is a decision that only your dentist can make after examining your teeth and assessing the extent of the damage. For example, if he or she determines that the pockets are deep, then he or she may insert antibiotic fibers to the affected gum pockets to deliver antibacterial agents directly to the affected tissues.
Surgery is usually a last choice treatment reserved for serious cases of peri-implantitis such as retrograde peri-implantitis. This is what your dentist is likely to suggest if the infection has affected not only your gum tissues, but also your jawbone. You may need a bone graft, gum graft or a combination of these. Your dentist will combine surgical treatment with the other treatment options described above.
Enhanced Oral Hygiene
Finally, you must enhance your oral hygiene if you want to preserve your dental implant. You must brush and floss your teeth daily and observe other hygiene measures as prescribed by your dentist. For example, the dentist may advise you to use an antibacterial mouth rinse regularly to deal with any bacterial remnants or bacteria that may be reintroduced into your mouth.
Maintaining a high level of post-implant oral hygiene is a good way of preventing not only peri-implantitis but also other forms of dental infections. However, if an infection does occur, it does not spell doom for your dental implant. Early intervention by your dentist (like those at Crest Hill Family Dental) will help you to continue using your artificial teeth for many more years.