Peri-implantitis is a dental disease resulting in inflammation of the soft and hard gum tissues surrounding a dental implant. Peri-implantitis is associated with loss of bone structure around the inflamed gum supporting the tooth implant. Find out more about peri-implantitis symptoms and the must know early signs and treatments. Understand what causes peri-implantitis and how it is diagnosed and treated in the UK.
Updated: 26 November 2019
- Peri-implantitis Symptoms
- Peri-implantitis Causes
- Peri-implantitis Diagnosis
- Peri-implantitis Treatment
- Peri-implantitis Prevention
Peri-implantitis symptoms are not always experienced, however, when present they are like the symptoms associated with gum disease. Should you notice peri-implantitis symptoms you should consult your dentist as soon as possible. The following are key early signs and symptoms of peri-implantitis to look out for:
- A bony defect with a crater-like shape
- Redness and swelling of the soft tissue
- Bad taste possible if pus is present
- Bleeding on probing or brushing
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Dull aching or tenderness of gums
Another similar dental disease is per-implant mucositis, which is largely accepted to be a precursor of peri-implantitis. A distinction between the two diseases is that bone loss does not occur from peri-mucositis.
Patients who have implants are at risk of developing peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis is caused by the gum surrounding a tooth implant becoming inflected. Peri-implantitis causes and risk factors include:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Tobacco use
- Poorly controlled systemic conditions (e.g., diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis)
- History of periodontitis and non-compliance to treatment
- Bruxism (grinding teeth) and other parafunctional habits
- Poor primary implant stability and premature loading during the healing period
An X-ray will show the bone supporting the implant as receding.
Diagnosis is based on changes of colour in the gum, bleeding and probing depth of peri-implant pockets, suppuration (discharging of pus).
The cause of the implant infection is conditioned by the status of the tissue surrounding the implant, implant design, degree of roughness, external morphology, and excessive mechanical load.
The management of the peri-implantitis should be focused on the control of the infection, the detoxification of the implant surface, and regeneration of the alveolar bone.
While surgery is usually required for treatment of peri-implantitis, some patient prefer to opt for non-surgical treatment options.
Non-surgical peri-implant therapies include:
- Laser treatments
Regenerative procedures using a bone graft substitute in combination with a membrane have also been proposed to treat bone defects in advanced cases of peri-implantitis. This procedure involves the following:
- Debridement – implant cleaned
- Implant surface decontamination
- Anti-infective therapy
- Surgical technique
- Implant removal
Individuals who have a history of gum inflammation are at a higher risk of developing peri-implantitis. However, there are several ways to prevent peri-implantitis occurring such as having good oral hygiene and dental implant aftercare.
Peri-implantitis commonly occurs during the healing process after dental implants are fixed, when the site is most susceptibility to bacteria build up.
- Adherence to dental implant aftercare
- Brushing teeth twice a day or after meals
- Flossing at least once a day, preferably before bed
- Not smoking, especially during the healing process
The following are suitable measures to help prevent peri-implantitis occurring:
Get in touch with DentalCarePlus for advice and affordable dental treatments
If you are about to embark on dental implant treatment it is important that you choose an experienced dental implant clinician who emphasises the importance of maintenance and aftercare. You implant treatment plan is not complete when your new ‘teeth’ are fitted – a focus on aftercare is vital.
This article was brought to you by Dental Care Plus who provides dental implant treatments across England. You can contact us for dental advice, quotes or to request free consultations.