Peri-implantitis begins as a bacterial infection that forms around dental implants. In many ways, it is similar to gum disease in that it causes damage to the gums and teeth around it. In early stages of Peri-Implantitis, the symptoms are relatively mild. Often you will notice inflammation and sensitivity around the gums. The longer the infection goes untreated, however, the more serious the side effects will become. Ultimately, dental implants can be lost and bone structure damaged. It is crucial to have an experienced and detail oriented Periodontist oversee your dental implant procedures from start to finish. At Dental Partners of Boston, we go to great lengths to minimize bacterial exposure during procedures. Our definition of success is not just having you walk out of our office with a great smile, but being happy with that smile for years to come.
If you have had dental implant work done outside of a Dental Partners of Boston office or within, it is essential to be aware of the risks associated with dental implants. While it is rare for our patients to experience post-op infections, a variety of circumstances can introduce harmful bacteria into the gums around dental implants. Knowing what to watch out for and scheduling a consultation as soon as you notice any of these symptoms will significantly improve your chances of a healthy recovery.
If you feel that your daily life is being affected by pain or discomfort around your dental implants, call us immediately to schedule an appointment. Pain or sensitivity while chewing, drinking, exercising, moving your head into different positions, headaches, soreness or stiffness in the jaw is not healthy and indicates a problem and needs to be looked at by a Periodontist as soon as possible.
It is important to remember that while these symptoms are real risks, they only happen when peri-implantitis is left untreated for significant amounts of time. When caught early and provided adequate supervision from a competent dentist, peri-implantitis can be treated before it ever causes undue discomfort or embarrassment.
There are three significant catalysts for peri-implantitis:
At Dental Partners of Boston, our long-term goal is to stop the progression of bone loss and keep your implants in place. In addition to thorough cleaning of the infected area with the proper dental tools, antibiotics will often be prescribed to kill off the remaining unhealthy bacteria within your gums and bone. Antibiotics may also be applied directly to the implant itself as well.
Most severe cases of peri-implantitis require removal of the implant and bone grafting to replace the damaged bone. To do this, your gums will need to be opened and the infection fully detoxified. Before new bone can be grafted onto the implant, your Periodontist must be confident that all of the infection can be eliminated. Most often this means strong antibiotics.
The type of bone that is used and its physiology are critical but there are no guarantees of success. There are many variables that contribute to a graftings success or failure. Having a team of specialists from Dental Partners of Boston on your side who lead the industry in advanced procedures, techniques and methods can significantly improve your chances of success.
Our team of Periodontist specialists treats many patients suffering from this condition. Unfortunately, many of our patients were treated by less skilled Periodontists or at "affordable" treatment centers. Correction of dental implants with issues should be performed by a dentist who routinely performs this procedure.
Occasionally we will find a loose abutment screw which may not have been appropriately placed, or it broke. Patients with a heavy bite can cause that. Heavy biters need to have their crowns appropriately designed by an experienced professional from the beginning to protect the implants. How the crown is made is extremely important to the longevity of the dental implant in the bone. Patients often view this step as minor, but it is significant. Some low-budget implants have poorly designed screws or have micro motion when you chew.
At Dental Partners of Boston, we are proud to offer a less-invasive treatment for peri-implantitis: LAPIP. This state of the art laser therapy can selectively destroy the bacteria, diseased tissue, pathologic proteins, and titanium corrosion contaminants that cause peri-implantitis, while leaving your healthy tissue intact. This helps you to heal quickly and maintain your dental implant investment. LAPIP treatment is a patient-friendly solution, and studies show that 95% of failing implants that have been treated with LAPIP have displayed significant improvement. LAPIP gets rid of infection and actually helps bone to grow back.
After your investment in dental implants, it is important to take care of your oral health and to avoid peri-implantitis. We are dedicated to helping you achieve the results that you desire with our excellent implant procedures and compassionate follow-up care.
The difference between experienced specialists and an average Periodontist cannot be understated. We encourage you to come in and visit with our friendly staff and see for yourself what a difference that can make. Our focus is on you and making sure you have the best possible treatment available in the greater Boston area. Your long-term well-being is our success.
Sergio A. Guzman