- by Dr. Ravneet Dhillon
- July 7, 2022
Dental Implants are a life-changing experience that can improve the smile, comfort and confidence of the person, restoring the function of the mouth. However, Dental implant procedures may sometimes require more than a few surgeries.
Though Dental Implants surgery is a common dental procedure and is quite safe, rare complications may sometimes occur. Adequate post-implantation care can ensure the prevention of infection and the success of the procedure.
Dental Implant infection is one of the most common complications that can occur after dental implant surgery, but usually, it is a minor issue that can be easily taken care of.
However, some useful information can always be helpful if one has got a dental implant procedure done or is about to go in for one.
We have tried to address some common queries regarding the same in this article.
What Is the Technique Behind Dental Implants?
A popular dental procedure for permanent restoration of missing teeth, dental implants consist of putting a small screw-like structure into the jaw bone by the dentist. This screw made of titanium forms the root of the new tooth. However, people with severe jawbone loss may have to undergo a bone graft beforehand.
The implant helps in stimulating the regrowth of the bone and provides stability to the new tooth. The top of the implant is attached upon the healing of the dental implant site and a crown is placed providing the patient with a tooth restoration that is not only permanent but also looks and feels natural.
Dental Implants and Infection
Inflammation of the area around the implant site is called a Dental Infection. The two primary types of Dental Infections include:
- Peri-implant mucositis: Usually caused by poor oral hygiene, this is the less severe of the two types of infections. A formation of a plaque biofilm between the implant and prosthetic leads to an inflammation of the soft tissue around the implant. However, there is no further bone loss.
- Peri-implantitis: An untreated peri-implant mucositis can lead to this infection which is a more serious and harmful inflammatory disease involving the soft and hard tissues around dental implants. This infection involves a larger area of the bone which encompasses the artificial tooth root.
Common Signs of Dental Implant Infection
The healing time after the surgery leaves the area uncovered and susceptible to harmful bacteria. Though the risk of infection after dental implant surgery is not very high and its treatment relatively simple, timely action and consulting a dentist immediately on developing the warning signs can go a long way in its treatment. Knowledge of the signs to watch for can go a long way in controlling the infection on time.
Symptoms of Infection may Include:
Pain and Trouble in Chewing
Every invasive dental procedure involves some amount of pain post-surgery. However, this pain should be easily manageable with an over-the-counter pain killer.
Any abnormal increase in pain to the degree where it hinders talking and chewing may be a sign of an infection.
Fever, Redness, and Swelling
Just like pain, a little swelling also around the area of surgery which may last for a few days is also normal after getting the implants.
However, if it stretches past the first few days or there are any signs of severe swelling and redness, especially accompanied by fever, do consult us at Morgan Hill Dentistry immediately as this can be a potential sign of infection.
Bad Taste in the Mouth
The bad bacteria and debris that can build up in the mouth can also be a reason for dental implant infections.
These bacteria can give rise to a constant bad taste and breath as they settle in the gums and trickle into the mouth.
Bleeding or Pus
The infection can lead to persistent bleeding or leaking of pus into the mouth.
Loosening of Implant
The dental implants are fastened directly onto the jawbone to avoid their becoming loose and to ensure their permanent stability. A loose or shaky implant can be a sign of an infection.
Causes of the Infection around Dental Implants
There are usually a few common causes of dental implant infection which may include:
- Lack of proper oral hygiene
- Smoking or Tobacco
- Allergic reaction to the implant
- Health issues like diabetes
- A compromised immune system
- A misaligned bite can also lead to the development of bacteria
- Grinding or clenching of teeth.
- Drastic jawbone loss
Tips to Reduce the Risk of Infection After Dental Implants Surgery
An infection of the dental implants can be generally avoided with adequate post-implant surgery care.
Following the aftercare instructions provided by the dentist properly can go a long way in saving you from the infection.
The choice of a dental surgeon is also one of the most important aspects of a smooth dental implant experience.
Consult a competent dentist with substantial dental implant experience, who has extensive knowledge of the procedure.
Our highly experienced team of experts at Morgan Hill Dentistry works diligently to provide you with the best and latest techniques of the procedure and satisfactory aftercare.
The risk of dental implant infection is extremely low if one sticks to an adequate care routine after the implant surgery, which includes:
Proper Oral Hygiene
Adequate oral hygiene is a must for preventing infection after dental implant surgery. Brush your teeth gently twice daily to keep away the infection-causing bacteria.
Flossing is also as important as brushing as it helps to eliminate the food particles that are not reachable by a toothbrush.
Optimal oral hygiene provides the gums and teeth with a favorable environment which is important for the implants to thrive.
One of the most important aspects of healing dental implants, regular rinsing reduces the risk of infection substantially by curbing the aggregation of bacteria.
Rinse the mouth once or twice a day with a mouthwash recommended by the dentist or a saltwater solution.
Smoking is like an open invitation to bacteria into the mouth. Moreover, it can also jeopardize the body’s ability to heal appropriately.
One of the most detrimental things that can be done to the implants after surgery is smoking should be strictly avoided both before and after the surgery.
Not good for the gums ever, sugar can be particularly adverse to gums during the healing process.
Avoid foods and beverages that contain a lot of sugar, entirely during the healing of the dental implants.
Sugar granules being extremely tiny tend to hide in the small crevices of the mouth, including at the site of the surgery. This can eventually cause an unnecessary buildup of the bacteria leading to an infection.
Physical activity should also be reduced for a few days. Also, properly taking the prescribed antibiotics and medicines can help to ensure the satisfactory healing of the implants.
Timely Action can Save the Implants
It is extremely important to not at all ignore the red flags mentioned above, as this will only lead to a worsening of the problem, at the same time giving rise to the risk of the infection spreading to the body.
Call us at Morgan Hill Dentistry on noticing any of the explained warning signs.
A permanent tooth restoration option, the dental implants can last forever, if the procedure is successful.
Improper oral hygiene and flouting the aftercare instructions of your dentist can lead to dental implant infections and ignoring the signs can make the matters worse.
It is extremely important to discuss and follow the recommended precautions and after-care instructions of the dental implant procedure with your dentist.
Call your dental surgeon immediately if you notice any symptoms of infection.
At Morgan Hill Dentistry, we go the extra mile to make sure that you are aware of all the implications of dental implant surgery and receive satisfactory post-surgery care and guidance.
Allow us to help restore your smile without worrying about anything. Sit back and relax as our experts give you a smooth dental implant experience!