Beware! Peri-implantitis

Peri-what?

There’s a new villain in town and we’d like to help you avoid it. No, not periodontitis but peri-implantitis. It’s a bacterial infection of the jawbone surrounding a dental implant and can result in recession of the bone and, ultimately, implant failure.

The reason it’s relatively new is because dental implants themselves are relatively new. Implants have revolutionised restorative dentistry, giving patients back their smiles and preventing them from living with gaps in their teeth or having to wear dentures. And luckily complications are rare, but we still need to be aware of them so we can prevent them happening.

One problem is that patients sometimes choose to have their implants performed abroad, to save money, but don’t realise they’re missing out on critical aftercare. Long-term follow-up is essential to monitor the health of the jawbone surrounding the implant and to prevent any complications.

Luckily, peri-implantitis is preceded by peri-implant mucositis, which is a milder disease. And, if spotted at this stage, we can usually prevent it developing further. Warning signs are red, swollen gums and bleeding when probed. However, there are often no outward symptoms and the disease can often only be detected by a properly qualified hygienist during a routine examination and cleaning.

Patients at higher risk of peri-implantitis are those with a family history of gum disease and smokers, but all implant patients are urged to maintain a strict regimen of excellent oral hygiene at home and also regular hygienist visits. This was you can do your best to prevent peri-implantitis and we’ll have the best chance of spotting it early if it does develop.

At Rhiwbina Dental, we understand that implants are an investment in your oral health. Our hygienists are experienced in treating implant patients, so you can feel confident that, with regular visits, they’ll help you keep your implants and jawbone healthy for the years to come.

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