A dentist showing a patient her teeth x-ray

What is Peri-implanatitis?

While dental implants are an extremely successful treatment option for people looking to replace missing or damaged teeth, they aren’t completely risk free. A small amount of people, approximately 2%, will experience complications as a result of this dental procedure. One of those complications is peri-implantitis.

Before fully committing to getting dental implants, it is important that you understand all the risks involved. Learning more about peri-implantitis can help you make a fully informed decision about whether dental implants are a good treatment option for your missing or damaged teeth.

What is Peri-implantitis?

When you get a dental implant, a small titanium rod is placed in the jaw bone. This titanium rod serves as the support and foundation for the dental implant. If the bone and surrounding gun stays health, the dental implant will stay in place and be considered successful. However, if for a small group of people inflammation of the gum and bone causes the dental implant to fail. This is known as peri-implantitis.

Peri-implantitis occurs when bacteria spreads to the gums, soft tissue, and bone that surround the dental implant. The bacteria cause severe inflammation that eventually leads to bone weakening or loss. Without the proper amount of bone support, the titanium rod cannot stay securely in place and the dental implant will completely fall out.

How Do You Know You Have Peri-implantitis?

Unfortunately, most people develop peri-implantitis and never know about it. They don’t realize they have it until the disease has progressed to the point that the dental implant fell out. In rare cases, usually if a person is undergoing another dental procedure, the bone loss can be spotted on an x-ray, but typically a person does not go in specifically for signs and symptoms of peri-implantitis.

If the peri-implantitis has progressed to the point that it is considered severe, symptoms may develop. Some of the symptoms and signs of peri-implantitis include:

  • Deeping of the gum pockets
  • Development of pus around the implant site
  • Bleeding near the gumline near the implant
  • Gums around the implant site appear bright red or develop a purplish color
  • Dental implant starts to look longer than it used to look
  • Metal is exposed from the dental implant

Pain is not usually a sign or symptom of peri-implantitis. However, some people have reported a dull ache or a slight feeling of pain, but only when the peri-implantitis has gotten to the severe stage.

Who is at Risk of Developing Peri-implantitis?

Several factors increase a person’s risk of developing peri-implantitis. Some of the factors that have contributed to peri-implantitis include:

  • Implanting a dental implant in bone that is not strong enough to begin with
  • Bone grafts that were done in a vertical position
  • Implants that were not properly measured and were too large or big for the space
  • Heating the bone at a temperature that is too high during the implant procedure
  • Previous history of severe periodontal disease
  • History of diabetes
  • History of osteoporosis
  • History of health problems that lead to poor immune systems

Reduce Your Risk of Peri-Implantitis by Seeing an Experienced Periodontist

While there is no way to 100% guarantee that you won’t develop peri-implantitis after a dental implant, there is something you can do to dramatically reduce your risk of possibility developing this disease – see an experienced periodontist.

Most cases of peri-implantitis develop as a direct result of improperly placed dental implants or because the dental implant was low quality. Periodontists, like Dr. Jeffrey Brown at Vero Implants & Periodontics, use the highest quality materials and have the experience needed to know how to properly place an implant.

If you are thinking about getting a dental implant, schedule a consultation with Dr. Jeffrey Brown. Dr. Brown will assess your case and determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. Dr. Brown can also provide you with assistance should you be exhibiting any problems from a previously placed dental implant.

Call our office today to schedule an appointment for a consultation.