How to Minimize Infections After Dental Implants

Many Galesburg dental implants patients have the incorrect assumption that since the tooth replacement systems are synthetic, that they can’t become infected. However, in reality, there is a risk of infection after getting dental implants placed called peri-implantitis. This infection can grow around and underneath your new dental implants and their titanium “roots,” causing a risk of implant failure, which means that your dental implants may fall out.

What is Peri-implantitis?

While rare, peri-implantitis can be quite serious. It happens when there are inflammation and swelling of the gum and surrounding jawbone near your dental implants, which are either in the process of fusing with your jawbone or have already completed this process. Galesburg patients who develop peri-implantitis are at risk for the following complications:

  • Losing jawbone tissue.
  • Dental implants instability, meaning your implants could become loose.
  • Dental implants failure, meaning your implants could fall out or need to be removed. 

Risk Factors for Peri-Implantitis and How to Minimize Them

While it’s true that anyone could develop peri-implantitis, there are certain risk factors that make it more likely that you’ll develop this rare complication. Don’t worry, though. With proper care, all these risk factors can be mitigated.

Risk factors for peri-implantitis include:

  • Having certain medical conditions, such as a compromised immune system, osteoporosis or diabetes. Having these conditions doesn’t mean you can’t get dental implants, or that you will definitely develop peri-implantitis. By working in coordination with either your primary care physician or specialist, Associated Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons can come up with a personalized treatment plan for you to reduce your risk of developing an infection.
  • Having previously had periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease. Periodontal disease can be minor and reversible with proper oral hygiene, or severe and require special deep cleanings called scaling and root planing. If you have periodontal disease and need dental implants to replace missing teeth or want them to aesthetically improve your smile or teeth you don’t like, our Galesburg doctors will likely want to treat your periodontal disease before placing your dental implants. They will most likely also want you to come in for more frequent checkups after your dental implants placement, to ensure they are fusing properly and that you aren’t developing peri-implantitis.
  • Smoking cigarettes, which constricts blood flow and can make it difficult for your dental implants to fuse with your jawbone. Our Galesburg doctors strongly recommend that all of our dental implant patients quit smoking. If you have difficulty doing so cold turkey, talk to our doctors about entering a smoking cessation program. There are even prescription medications available that may help you kick the habit for good!

Contact Us Immediately If You Think You’re Developing Peri-Implantitis

If you have dental implants placed and you think something just isn’t right, we want to know immediately.

If you have risk factors for peri-implantitis and/or are showing signs of the infection including loose dental implants, call us as soon as possible for help at (309) 232-8252.