What is dental peri-implantitis?

Peri-implantitis is an inflammation of the hard and soft tissue around a dental implant mimicking the periodontal disease. This inflammation will lead to destruction of the supporting and infection of the dental implant surface. To learn more, please visit my website and read my publications on that subject.

Dr. Anthony Sclar
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Like progressive “periodontitis” (gum disease), Peri-implantitis leads to progressive loss of the bone anchoring a dental implant (osseointegration) and eventual implant failure. 

The treatment of peri-implantitis involves deep cleaning around the implant(s) with specialized instrumentation, including the use of lasers. The gum pockets are flushed with an antiseptic solution after which time-released antibiotic microspheres are injected directly into the gum pockets surrounding the implant(s). Peri-implantitis is often caused by bacterial migration from a nearby loose tooth suffering from gum disease. If identified, the sick tooth or teeth must be successfully treated or removed to avoid future re-infection of the tissues surrounding implant(s). In addition, an oral antibiotic should be taken for 7-10 days. Follow-up dental examinations are scheduled weekly for 3-6 weeks.

Once the infection is controlled, the dental implant specialist can attempt to restore or reshape the supportive hard and soft tissues around the implant(s), using surgical procedures that may include bone resection, repositioning gum tissue to facilitate oral hygiene procedures, and if there has been major bone loss, guided bone regeneration or bone grafting to regenerate bone anchorage for the implant(s). Alternatively, removal and subsequent replacement of the implants can be considered.

All dental implant patients should receive periodontal examination and, if indicated, treatment before implant placement. After placement, they should maintain good oral hygiene, including professional teeth cleaning by their dental hygienist. They should be examined regularly by their dentist for signs of infection, as well as attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with their dental implant specialist. Enhanced oral hygiene measures become mandatory as these areas are susceptible to re-infection.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.