What Causes Dental Implants Infection?

What Causes Dental Implants Infection?

Dental implants are a life-changing experience for most people having one or more missing teeth. They are the permanent, complete restoration of the lost tooth that appears, feels, and performs just as real teeth. They can help improve the smile impression, and self-confidence, and increase all-around comfort. Unfortunately, they can also be prone to infection.  Keep reading to know what are full mouth dental implants and their infection means, how to identify it, what causes it, its prevention, and treatments to save the implant. 

What is a Dental Implant Infection?

Dental implant infection refers to the bacterial infection of the area surrounding the implant. It is the most common complication seen after implant surgery. It is majorly of two types: 

  • Peri-implant mucositis: Among the two kinds, it is a less severe infection commonly resulting from poor oral hygiene. It is characterized by plaque formation between the implant and the prosthetic tooth and inflammation of soft tissues lying around the implant, without additional loss of jawbone.
  • Peri-implantitis: It is a more serious infection usually caused by untreated peri-implant mucositis or linked to gum disease. It is a destructive inflammatory condition of the gums and jawbone around the dental implants, affecting a large portion of the jawbone covering the fake tooth’s roots. It can develop soon after the prosthetic tooth is placed or several years ahead. If left untreated, it can progress for up to 5 years.  

Signs/Symptoms of an Infected Dental Implant

  • Aggravated redness or inflammation of the gums around the implant, particularly accompanied by fever
  • Loose or wobbly implant
  • Bleeding gums or pus leaking in the gum tissues around the implant
  • Persistent terrible smelling breath or an unpleasant mouth taste due to bacteria settling into the gums and trickling inside the mouth
  • Intense pain that interferes with speech and chewing ability of the restored tooth. 

If one is experiencing any signs and Symptoms of an infected dental implant, they can get it treated with the dental implant experts at EON Clinics. They have a team of dental implant surgeons who can help one to get them treat the condition effectively and ensure their good overall dental health.

Causes of Dental Implant Infection

The possible reasons behind the development of infection around dental implants include:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Smoking
  • An impaired or weak immune system
  • Chronic health problems like diabetes
  • An allergic reaction at the implant site
  • Teeth grinding or clenching
  • Severe jawbone loss or poor quality of the jawbone
  • A misaligned bite tied to bacterial growth
  • Overloading of the dental implant
  • Implant fracture
  • Residual cement stuck on the dental implant
  • Dental implants placed very close
  • Incorrect angulation of the implant into the jawbone.


Dental Implant Infection

How Can the Risk of Dental Implant Infection be Reduced Following Implant Surgery?

As tooth implant infection is a possible outcome of implant surgery, all the symptoms associated with it can be normally avoided by following all the dentist’s recommendations for post-surgery care. Therefore, it’s important to consult a competent and reputed dental expert holding an extensive experience in implant dentistry to achieve a smooth dental implant experience without any complications. 

The risk of having an infected dental implant can be considerably reduced when the implant patients stick to a proper aftercare regime post their implant surgery. This includes:

  • No smoking

Smoking can welcome a lot of mouth bacteria and even compromise the natural healing ability of the mouth.

  •  A diligent and optimal oral hygiene routine

After receiving the implants, the patients must take care of their implants just as they do their natural teeth. They must gently brush their teeth twice a day and floss once after a meal to get rid of food particles stuck on or in between the teeth and prevent the build-up of infection-causing bacteria. Additionally, they must periodically schedule a dental check-up to early spot any dental issues and have professional teeth cleaning to remove plaque and tartar. With robust oral hygiene, the gums and teeth can stay healthy and create a conducive environment for implants to thrive.

  • Regular mouth rinsing

To keep the bacteria accumulation in control around the healing dental implants, regular rinsing of the mouth once or twice a day is important. Rinsing can be done with a saltwater solution or a dentist-prescribed mouthwash. 

  • Limiting sugars intake

Healing gums and implants can easily get damaged if the patients have sugar-loaded food and beverages. The tiny sugar particles can hide in the small crevices of the mouth, including the surgical site, and cause excessive bacteria build-up.  

If Having an Infected Dental Implant, What Should Be Done?

Upon noticing any of the red flags of dental implant infection in the mouth, it’s advised to consult a dentist immediately. If left ignored for a long, the problem will worsen and the infection will spread. However, if treated timely by experienced and competent implant specialists, the infected dental implants can be saved from failing and subsequent replacement.  

At EON Clinics, we offer various treatments for an infected dental implant. We provide top-quality dental implant solutions and ensure that all our patients after undergoing implant surgery are guided appropriately about how to prevent infections.

In the case of patients experiencing mild implant infection, we prescribe antibiotics. If that’s not enough to treat infection, we perform other treatments. The treatment option is chosen based on the amount of jawbone loss and the aesthetic impact that the infected implant has on the patient. Infected dental implants are usually treated by us in any of the following ways:

 what causes tooth implant infection

Mechanical or Ultrasonic Cleaning of the Infected Implant Surface/ Submucosal Debridement (Non-surgical approach)

In mechanical implant cleaning, our dental professionals take the help of special hooks and brushes or use an Air Flow System to mechanically clean the infected implant. In ultrasonic cleaning, our dentists use ultrasonic devices emitting high-frequency vibrational waves to clean the contaminated area of the infected implant. 

Open-Flap Debridement (A surgical approach)

This is preferred for patients that have their implants placed in hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. The surgery involves cutting and lifting the back of a small gum flap, resulting in easier access to the contaminated area and then it’s mechanical cleaning. Antiseptics are applied before the incised gums are stitched back together.

Implant Removal

In case of significant jawbone loss- supporting jawbone having a depth of less than 3-4 mm, our dentists just remove the infected implant. When such patients undergo bone grafting and completely heal from it, we may ask them to go for re-implantation.    

Take The Next Step

If you have questions about infected dental implant treatment, schedule a consultation with the dental implant experts in Chicago at EON Clinics. We are proudly serving in Illinois, and you can count on us to help you make an informed decision.

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