Peri Implantitis – What is your plan?

According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry each year over 500,000 implants are placed in the United States.  While implants are excellent missing teeth replacements, technical, esthetic and biologic complications occur.

Technical complications can include occlusal (bite) trauma, implant breakage or fracture and loosening of screws and abutments.

Esthetic complications can include exposed threads and abutments, which invites bacteria and debris to harbor in the area.

Biologic complications from tobacco use, alcohol consumption, uncontrolled periodontitis, history of periodontitis, uncontrolled systemic diseases and the inability to perform adequate plaque removal – all can increase risk factors for implant infection and eventual failure.

Implant patients need to be aware that implants are susceptible to similar gum or periodontal issues that natural teeth have and are often attacked more aggressively.   Research shows that periodontitis and peri-implantitis are similiar yet different.  Both the microbial composition and sequence of infection are similar but they are different in three major ways.  Peri-implantitis versus periodontitis is marked by the following:

1.  Higher extensive inflammatory infiltrate and innate immune response:

2.  More severity of tissue destruction;

3.  Faster destructive progression rate.

To feel more confident about your implants long term health, patients should know, prepare and practice the most current methods to maintain them.  To do so, the following are recommended:

A. Regular, consistent and professional supportive continuing care prophylactic visits with the hygienist;

B.  Use of proper home-care techniques;

C.  Use of water-irrigating devices, ie.  Waterpik’s Water Flosser used with the Plaque Seeker tip.

(The tips are inexpensive, easy to obtain and fit on all Waterpik models.);

D.  Use of an interdental brush to provide tissue stimulation and to remove plaque and debris instantly;

(Dipping the brush in an antiseptic increases the benefit.)

For all implant patients early diagnosis, treatment and home care reinforcement of implant infection

(peri-implant mucositis) are essential.

When is your next continuing care maintenance visit?