Dental disease is a known culprit of tooth decay and loss. What might not be known is that dental implants, which are used to replace teeth, are also prone to tissue disease. Manifesting as inflammation and infection of tissues that surround and support implants, this has become the greatest cause of concern in the field of dentistry.Referred to as peri-implantitis, this condition typically goes through different phases or stages of progression. As mentioned previously, gum tissues that surround the implant are inflamed and infected. This is also known as peri-mucositis as the gum or membranes that line the mouth become inflamed.The cause of this is often from bacteria, but can also result from excess dental cement that is used to attach a crown to the implant and not removed completely. If gum tissues are the only area affected by the infection and/or inflammation, improved oral hygiene to remove the biofilm and excess cement is a good way to manage this disease.If inflammation and infection extends into the bone, the connection to the implant is destroyed. This makes the condition more problematic because what supports the implant is undermined.SymptomsSymptoms of this implant disease come with the usual signs of inflammation:
More severe cases also lead to rapid bone loss that ultimately causes the implant to become loosened. There is some evidence that suggests people who previously had aggressive periodontal disease, where tooth loss occurred, are at greater risk for this disease.Implants Still Have a High Success RateAlthough this condition might sound alarming, especially if you are considering getting this treatment, dental implants still have the highest success rate than any other type of tooth replacement procedure. Only a small percentage of patients experience problems.Even better news is knowing that this disease can be successfully treated when it is caught early. Controlling the infection and inflammation is possible with cleaning or antibiotics. More advanced cases may require surgical repair to reattach the implant and bone.The major concern with this is decontaminating exposed implant surfaces where bacteria tends to hide. If the implant is lost due to the disease, every effort is made to replace it and preserve the bone that surrounds the implant.Maintenance is KeyAvoiding implant failure largely depends on doing everything possible through regular maintenance. Good oral hygiene, including regular dental cleanings and checkups, will help to keep tissues around your implants in a healthy state.