Dental Implant Infection

One of the prime causes of dental implant failure is infection.

Infection occurs at the site where the implant fixture attaches to the bone. It can be characterized by redness in the surrounding tissue, soreness, looseness, or an unpleasant taste or smell coming from the site.

Causes of dental implant infection

There are several possible causes to be aware of:

  • The crown on the dental implant can be oversized, or can otherwise have an unhealthy contour. This seems like a simple matter, but if the crown presses too much on the tissue, it isn't healthy and can lead to inflammation and then infection. Many dentists, in an attempt to contain the high costs of implant fixtures, will use "one-size-fits-all" abutments. This can save them several hundred dollars in costs, but it can also lead to this type of inflammation and infection that develops after the patient completes treatment. Dr. Chal has each abutment custom-made to fit each individual patient.
  • Sometimes there can be a slight infection right after the surgery, because of bacteria that enter the surgical site. If we are dealing with ordinary oral bacteria. this can often be resolved simply with antibiotics, and won't pose any long-term risk. Some surgeons routinely administer antibiotics before and/or after the surgery to deal with this routine contamination.
  • If substandard fixtures are used, because they may not have a precision fit, screws can become loose or gaps can occur, and these will attract bacteria. Because of the great difference in cost between substandard fixtures and precision-fitting ones, the temptation is great for dentists to cut costs here. But the long-term effects for the patient can be serious. For more information on this, please see our page on dental implant costs and quality.
  • When you have a loose dental implant, there can often be infection around it. The primary problem, however, is that it is loose. Resolving the infection will not solve the fundamental problem. The implant may need to be replaced.
A loose screw that caused a dental implant infection.  

Here is an example of a screw that helped cause a dental implant infection. Dr. Chal removed this from a patient named Brenda. The fixture was not a name-brand, and the screw was not precision-fitting like the ones Dr. Chal uses. Thus, it attracted deposits and bacteria.

To read more, see the page about Brenda's dental implant story.

Treatment of dental implant infection

Many people have the idea that antibiotics alone can treat this. But without treating the cause of the infection, the use of antibiotics alone is often harmful, because they breed bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotic being used. The source of the infection needs to be eliminated.

So if the problem is a loose implant, or improperly fitting implant parts that are attracting bacteria, the offending fixtures need to be replaced. Once a fixture becomes mobile, removal is generally the only option for treatment.

Sometimes, proper dental implant maintenance is all that is required. They need to be cleaned regularly, just as teeth need to be cleaned.

You also may be interested in seeing Dr. Chal's dramatic implant success stories.

Make an appointment with Phoenix dentist Dr. Arthur Chal

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Featured Stories:

Jennifer was getting married in a few
    weeks, but was embarrassed to smile.
    It turned out she was a great case
    for a Zirconia Bridge - high tech,
    high strength, and ultimate esthetics,
    and all completed in time for the
J.T. suffered from bulimia. Even though
    she lived in California, she drove 657
    miles to see Dr. Chal. When
    you read her warm thank-you note,
    you'll understand why.
    Read J.T.'s bulimia story.
Tom's Case illustrates a fixed
    implant hybrid restoration
, and
    leaves him with a solid feeling to his
    teeth, "like hitting the sweet spot with
    every swing of the golf club."
Emily came to Dr. Chal frightened, in
    lots of pain, with an ugly smile and TMJ
. Dr. Chal eased her fears,
    solved her pain, gave her a beautiful
    smile, and cured her TMJ disorder.
    Read her heart-warming story.
Brenda's dental implant horror
. - read about how Dr. Chal
    re-did her old implant work, solved
    her pain and infection, and made her
    look ten years younger.



For An Appointment
To render an opinion on your case, Dr. Chal will plan on spending quality time evaluating your situation. Plan on spending an hour or more with him at your appointment.

To help you plan your budget, please allow for a cost of $150 - $300 for this appointment. Plan also on receiving an expert and accurate analysis. Because of the quality time involved, we regret being unable to provide free consultations, free second opinions, or estimates over the phone.

To request an appointment,
click here or call (602) 957-5000.

Monday - Thursday: 8:00 – 5:00
Friday: 8:00 – 12:00
4715 N. 32nd St., Suite 106
Phoenix, AZ  85018

Dr. Chal is the recommended cosmetic dentist for Phoenix for the cosmetic dentistry website, for placing beautiful porcelain veneers.



Dr. Arthur Chal


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