Just because dental implants are made of metal that is unaffected by the bacteria in the mouth, doesn’t mean that tissue around the implants is similarly unaffected. Considering the unique situation of this disease around a dental implant instead of a tooth, there are special things to consider when diagnosing and treating peri-implant disease.
Diagnosing Peri-implant Disease
The first stage is peri-implant mucositis, this is akin to gingivitis that you would see around teeth. You can see inflammation of the gum and bleeding upon probing, but you don’t yet have a loss of attachment of the dental implant from gums.
The next stage of peri-implant disease would be peri-implantitis. This is where you start seeing the bone levels around the implant start to decrease and the dental implant losing attachment.
What Causes Peri-implant Disease
There are three things the have bee associated with peri-implant disease:
- Excessive occlusal forces on the implant
- Excess cement on the restoration
- Lack of keratinized gingiva
How Do You Prevent Peri-implant Disease
It’s worth considering opening up the embrasure spaces between the implants so that cleansability can happen. Additionally, cementing outside the mouth and using a screw or friction retrained restoration can prevent the issue of excess cement.
How Do You Treat Peri-implant Disease
There are two approaches a periodontist might take in order to treat peri-implant disease: surgical and non-surgical. For the non-surgical approach, the periodontist may use Minocycline HCl or Doxycycline in order to combat the infection-causing bacteria. For the surgical option we have scaling an root planing with a surgical flap. Another surgical option, one that’s preferred at Worcester Periodontics, is LANAP® laser gum surgery. This is far less invasive than flap surgery but still provides the debridement and disinfection without loss of tissue.
If you would like to learn more about peri-implant disease, our periodontists would be more than happy to schedule some time with you. Please call our periodontics practice in Worcester at 508.754.1122 for more details.