I have an implant that replaces my lower molar and I have been told that I have bone loss and infection around my dental implant. What can I do?
Hi K J,
You have been informed that your dental implant is affected by a low grade infection called peri-implantitis that is slowly destroying the bone that supports your implant.
The surface of the implant is infected and contaminated by bacteria that will continue to destroy the bone unless it is removed.
There is treatment available for an ailing implant. The treatment consists of removal of the bacterial contamination and detoxification of the implant surface. The implant is exposed and the bacterial film and toxins on the implant surface and the infected soft tissues around the implant are removed. The surface is decontaminated by chemical and mechanical means, or in the case of Laser Treatment, an all tissue laser such as the Waterlase is used to clean and disinfect the implant surface . The area is covered with a dressing for about a week and normal gentle cleaning resumes after that.
Depending on the size and shape of the bone defect, the dentist may place a bone graft.
It is normal for the tissues to shrink after the surgery, so part of the abutment (post) or even the implant may be visible after healing.
In cases where access is simple, one surgical treatment may be all that is necessary but in more difficult cases more than one treatment may be necessary to get the infection under control.
It is very important to develop a good daily oral hygiene routine to keep the gums around your teeth and implants healthy, and to supplement that with regular checkup and maintenance appointments in the dentist’s office.