Dental Implant Infection
One of the prime causes of
dental implant failure is
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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.