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dental implant infection sydney

Dental Implant Infection — Causes, Symptoms, & Prevention

Dental implants are an effective way to replace any missing or severely decayed teeth that you may have. Even though they aren’t your natural teeth, you should still take care of them as if they were your normal teeth.

However, some people tend to face more problems or complications with their dental implants than others.

Peri-implantitis is an infection of the gums, bones and other tissues surrounding dental implants. It closely resembles gum disease. Its severity can range from slight inflammation of the gums to significant degradation of the teeth and jawbone. If peri-implantitis is untreated, it often results in patients losing their dental implants as well as developing additional serious oral health problems. 


Causes of dental implant infections

The causes of dental implant infection vary and can include the following: 


Improper placement

An improperly placed dental implant may leave a space between the fixture and bone that bacteria could invade. Premature loading, which leads to micro-fractures that might trap bacteria, is another potential cause of peri-implantitis.


risks complications teeth implant sydneyPoor oral hygiene

Poor oral hygiene on the part of the patient increases the likelihood of plaque build-up, which can lead to inflammation, infection and bone loss. Smokers are more prone to infection due to the effects that smoking has on their bodies’ immune systems. Systemic illnesses such as diabetes can lead to an increased risk of infections, especially in those with weakened or compromised immune systems. Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for preventing infections and ensuring that your implants last for many years to come. 


Previous periodontitis disease

Previous periodontitis disease can also affect the success of dental implants. If a patient has had periodontitis in the past, they are more likely to experience infection and implant failure due to weakened bones and gums.


Symptoms of an infected dental implant

Dental implants are not only safe but one of the most commonly performed oral surgeries today. In very rare instances, patients may experience an infected dental implant.

By familiarising yourself with the symptoms of the dental implant infection, you can help prevent it from spreading and decrease your pain levels. These signs may include the following:

  1. Red or swollen gum
  2. Bad breath
  3. Pain or tenderness around the implant
  4. Difficulty chewing
  5. Pus drainage from the gums
  6. Loose or shifting of the implant
  7. A metallic taste in your mouth

If you experience any of these signs, it’s important to seek medical attention right away.



Infected Dental Implants Diagnosis

Your dentist can diagnose an infected dental implant by performing a full oral examination and assessing your medical history. They may also take X-rays or other imaging tests to determine the extent of the infection.

Once the infection is diagnosed, it’s important to begin treatment right away. Depending on the severity, this could involve antibiotic therapy, oral surgery, or a combination of both.

While having dental implants, it’s still crucial that you visit the dentist every six months for a checkup. These regular appointments allow your dentist not only to examine your natural teeth but also to monitor your implant sites for any inflammation, infection or instability. If any concerning issues are found, quick treatment can save you from complications.


Dental Implant Infection Treatment

The quicker you catch and treat an infection, the higher your chances of success will be. Once a complete examination, including X-rays, has been conducted by your dentist, they’ll be able to acknowledge how severe the infection is as well as any instability in the implant.

The most common treatment for dental implant infection is antibiotics. Depending on the severity of the infection, your dentist may recommend taking oral or intravenous antibiotics. You should always finish the entire course of antibiotics prescribed to you by your doctor.

In some severe infection cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to address a dental implant infection. These treatment procedures may include the following: 


Removing the abnormal crown restoration

If the infection is localised to the crown, removing and replacing it may be enough to solve the problem. After the inflammation is healed, another proper crown can be applied to restore the tooth. 


Cleaning and debridement

In cases of severe inflammation and infection, your dentist may need to clean out any debris around the implant site. This can help stop the spread of bacteria as well as allow for better healing. 


Removing the failed implant

If the infection is too severe or your implant is loose due to the invasion of the bacteria between the fixture and the bone, removing and replacing the infected implant may be necessary. If your dentist does recommend removing and replacing an implant, it’s important to wait for a few months for the area to heal before attempting another implant placement.


How to prevent dental implant infection?

There are many ways to get an infection after surgery, but prevention is easy if you take the necessary precautions. Here are a few effective ways to prevent infection after dental implant surgery. To prevent a dental implant infection, follow these instructions: implanted teeth problems sydney

  • Make sure to practise good oral hygiene and brush your teeth at least twice daily. Flossing will also help remove any plaque and bacteria that can build up around the implant.
  • Avoid smoking as it increases the risk of your implant failure, which decreases healing time and increases your risk of infection.
  • Eat a balanced diet full of healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. And try to avoid sugary foods that encourage bacteria growth.
  • Stay away from hard, chewy or sticky foods that can put extra stress on the dental implants
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for cleaning and checkup and for monitoring your oral health.

In conclusion, dental implant infections are not uncommon and can be caused by a variety of factors, such as poor sterilisation, inadequate oral hygiene, or previous periodontitis disease.

However, maintaining regular dental appointments and cleanings will help ensure the health of your dental implants and reduce the risk of infection. 

If you are currently experiencing any issues with your implant, contact us on (02) 8007 6727 right away and book your appointment for proper diagnosis and treatment. By taking precautions such as these, you can enjoy a longer-lasting and healthier dental implant.




Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. 






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