What is peri-implantitis?

Peri-implantitis is a dental implant infection.

Symptoms of peri-implantitis:

An infected dental implant (per-implantitis) may have the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding or pus
  • A fever
  • Throbbing pain
  • Redness and swelling in the gums
  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty chewing your food
  • The implant feels loose

Medical tests to diagnose peri-implantitis

If you have the above symptoms, go and see a dentist who will be able to confirm an infection on inspection.

What are the causes of peri-implantitis?

A dental implant can become infected if food debris or bacteria gets lodged in the implant, which can lead to the formation of an infection.

Can peri-implantitis be prevented?

Preventative care is possible to avoid peri-implantitis, much of which can be done at home. It’s important to keep your dental implant clean. The best ways to keep them clean at home are to do the following:

  • Brush daily
  • Floss daily
  • Use mouthwash

It is also a good idea to have the implant cleaned professionally periodically. This cleaning will be thorough and include scaling of the tooth or implant’s surface. This should happen every 6 months when you make your 6 monthly visit to the dentist or hygienist.

To avoid infection directly after having an implant inserted, the following will help:

  • Avoid disturbing the implant.
  • Rinse 2-3 times day with salt water.
  • Apply ice if there is discomfort or pain.
  • When brushing, be very gentle on the implant.

Treatments for peri-implantitis:

If an implant becomes infected very soon after it is inserted, treatment may include antibiotics or replacing the implant altogether.

For later infections to implants, antibiotics will be given, but if the infection is too severe, surgery will be required.

Which type of specialist treats peri-implantitis?

A dentist would treat peri-implantitis.