Dental implants are regarded by everyone as an effective way to solve their dental woes and restore their smiles. With proper care, patients can even see their restored smiles last for a lifetime. Recent incidents, however, show the negative effect of neglecting proper care for dental implants, as dentists are seeing an increase in cases of peri-implantitis, or the gradual loss of jaw bone supporting an implant.
The Prevalence of Peri-Implantitis
In its nature, peri-implantitis, like periodontitis or gum disease, is an inflammatory disease caused by bacterial infection around the implant area, causing the gradual loss of the jaw bone that supports it. Dental experts, however, are still confirming whether the infection itself causes the gradual bone loss, or if the bone loss causes the exposure of the implant area to bacteria.
Cases of peri-implantitis have only been made known recently, as more people are opting for replacement porcelain crowns with titanium roots. Most dental experts even regard peri-implantitis as a “time bomb”, and estimates that over a third of patients with dental implants are expected to be affected.
Symptoms of and Factors that Affect Peri-Implantitis
Often, peri-implantitis will be preceded with a milder disease known as peri-implant mucositis, an oft-treatable condition that’s common among dental implant patients. Symptoms include red and swollen gums, at times even bleeding, and once peri-implant mucositis is left untreated, it can develop into peri-implantitis.
A recent study published in the British Dental Journal also saw the prevalence of peri-implantitis cases among patients, seeing that most of these cases have been caused by improper oral hygiene. Patients who smoke or who have a history of gum disease in their family are also at risk of acquiring the disease.
The most catastrophic effect of peri-implantitis, namely jaw bone loss, is often painless, and you may only realize it once the damage has been done. Dental implants are not much different from your natural teeth and its roots, and the way you care for your teeth to avoid acquiring dental problems should be the way you care for dental implants.
First, proper oral hygiene must be observed, so don’t forget to regularly brush and floss your teeth. This might also be the best time for you to finally quit smoking for good, if you’re a smoker, and maintain your gum health.
Should you notice signs of inflammation on your gums or deterioration in your implant, tell your dentist immediately. Though you may not have visible problems with your dental implants as of yet, regular visits to dentists in Springfield, IL, like those from Advanced Dental Care of Springfield, is still a must to avoid acquiring peri-implantitis.
Dentists warn of risks of not looking after implants, BBC
Peri-implantitis: The ‘time bomb’ in dental implants, The Telegraph