What You Need to Know about Peri-Implantitis

If you have had dental implants put into place in order to correct your tooth loss, there is a condition that you need to be concerned about – peri-implantitis. This condition involves a destructive process that affects the bone and gums that surround your implants.

While implants tend to have a high success rate, peri-implantitis can cause failure, especially when patients fail to care for their implants properly, smoke, or have diabetes. This condition will result in gum tissue and bone destruction, exposing part of the dental implant to the outside world.

Signs of Peri-Implantitis

If you are concerned that you might have peri-implantitis, it is important that you know what to look for in terms of signs and symptoms. These are some of the main signs to look for:

  •          Pus draining from around the implant
  •          Increased pocket depth around your implant
  •          Progressive bone loss surrounding the implant
  •          Transparency around the implant as a result of thinning tissue
  •          Bleeding gums during brushing or when your dentist is examining the area
  •          Gum tissue color changes, specifically around the site of the implant

Diagnosing Peri-Implantitis

In order to diagnose peri-implantitis, your dentist will use measuring instruments and X-rays to inspect the amount of bone that surrounds your implant. If it is found that bone loss has occurred, your dentist may diagnose you with peri-impantitis. Minor bone loss is perfectly common, but it should not exceed 1-1.5 millimeters of loss in the first year or 0.2 mm in each following year.

This is why dental appointments are so important after you have your dental implants put into place – bone loss often goes undiagnosed and can lead to failure in which the implant needs to be removed.

There are several treatment options available for peri-implantitis that you will want to discuss with your dentist, ranging from localized drug delivery, perioscope, and mechanical debridement. Contact our office about which is right for you in order to save your implants.