Peri-implantitis And Other Threats To Dental Implants

Peri-implantitis And Other Threats To Dental Implants

Our Chelmsford dentist looks at some potential implant challenges.

It is widely agreed, within the dental community, that dental implants offer the best solution for replacing a missing tooth, or number of teeth.

Their success rate is extremely high, making it not only a strong and secure tooth replacement system, but one that is very unlikely to fail.

This does not mean, however, that once the implants are in place, everything will be fine if care is not taken of them. Although no extra special care is needed, as with dentures for example, a good cleaning and care regimen is important to keep the implants healthy.

The main threats to dental implants come in an advanced form of gum disease, periodontitis and an inflammatory process known as peri-implantitis.


This an advanced form of gum disease which not only causes painful and bleeding gums, but also attacks the bone in which the dental implants are placed. As it is the bone that is securely holding the implants in place, any damage to this structure can cause the implants to become loose and they may even fall out.


Like periodontitis, peri-implantitis can occur at any time after an implant has been placed, even several years later. It has a similar effect to periodontitis but is an inflammatory process which is caused by bacterial infection. Not only does this cause inflammation however, but can also cause the bone to recede, loosening its grip on the dental implant.

Prevention and treatment

A good oral health care regimen which includes regular brushing, interdental cleaning and regular dental checks at our Chelmsford practice goes a long way in the prevention of either of these problems. Both also go through a milder stage before reaching the point where damage is done to the bone and it is these early warning signs that indicate that treatment is needed.

In the case of periodontitis, it is preceded by an earlier stage known as gingivitis. There are a number of potential symptoms for this which include soreness or redness of the gums, along with possible bleeding when you brush your teeth. Treatment for this involves professional cleaning by the hygienist at Blue Sky Dental to help restore your teeth and gums to good health. You will also be advised how to improve your home cleaning regimen to prevent further problems.

The preceding stage of peri-implantitis is known as peri-implant mucositis. This has similar symptoms to gingivitis, and indeed is sometimes referred to as ‘implant gingivitis’. This is generally treated in a similar manner to gingivitis with a professional clean to remove bacteria from the area and ensure that the patient has a fuller understanding of the importance of good oral health care. In some cases, antibiotics may also be used to treat peri-implant mucositis.

Whether you have dental implants or not, any signs of sore or bleeding gums should be investigated by one of the dentists at Blue Sky Dental. If you notice any indication of gum problems, please call us for an appointment at our Chelmsford practice on 01245 211070.

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