Dr Harminder Sehmi of the Cygnet Dental Practice discusses the problem and how it can be avoided.
As we have discussed before, dental implants offer an excellent option for anyone looking to replace a missing tooth, or teeth, with a secure and strong alternative. Advances in technology and a more advanced understanding of the process of osseointegration (where the implant fuses with the jawbone) have led us to the point where implant failure is very rare.
This does not mean that we can ignore their aftercare however, and making sure that we keep our implants clean will help us to remain problem free for the maximum time possible.
So what are the main threats to dental implants? These fall into a number of categories. Damage to an implant caused by a blow to the face is an obvious one, and one that we may not be able to avoid. If you play contact sports though, it would be a sensible approach to talk to our Wickford team about using a mouthguard during the activity. General poor oral care is also one of the main reasons for implant failure. This is particularly important in the period immediately following the procedure where it may lead to infections and poor osseointegration. Bad habits such as smoking and excessive drinking, will also increase the chances of a poor outcome.
Peri implantitis overview
One lesser known, but very real threat to a dental implant, is a disease known as peri-implantitis. It is closely related to the better known gum disease, periodontitis, but differs in certain ways.
As with periodontitis, if the area around the implant is not cleaned sufficiently, bacteria will start to multiply. If this is allowed to happen for a period of time, the soft tissue of the gums will start to become inflamed, worsening if not treated. It can also affect the bone structure into which the implant is placed.
There are two main stages of this disease: