Despite the high success rates observed with dental implants in dental practice, complications and implant loss can occur. An important complication to dental implant treatment is a pathologic process called Peri-Implantitis.

Peri-Implantitis is an infectious disease caused by tissue changes that causes an inflammatory process in soft tissues (similar to Periodontitis) and bone loss around an integrated implant in function. The disease state is generally thought to be caused by plaque and biofilm, which has been shown to accumulate on implant surfaces as well as teeth.

Symptoms of this disease can be anything from tissue inflammation, bleeding upon probing, to advanced bone loss, which is often observed around a dental implant affected with Peri-Implantitis.

What Factors Can Contribute to Peri-Implantitis?

The following facts can contribute to Peri-Implantitis:

      • Poorly controlled gum disease
      • The effects of tobacco use have also been shown to negatively impact implant success rates. Implant patients who smoke, suffer significantly greater marginal bone loss after implant placement and the occurrence of Peri-Implantitis increases.
      • Genetic factors have been correlated with occurrence of Peri-Implantitis.

Treatment of Peri-Implantitis

      • Antimicrobials such as Chlorhexide (mouthwash) and Dentomycin (antibiotics) into the area.
      • Debridement of the area (method used will be dependent on factors specific to each case).
      • Strict oral hygiene regime.
      • Systemic antibiotics may be considered.
      • The clinician can then consider whether to attempt to regenerate the bone around the implant or perform peri-implant flap surgery.