Can Dental Implants Get Infected? - Smile Dental

Can Dental Implants Get Infected?

AAID Case of the Week | Dr. William Liang – White Rock Dentist
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Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth.  Like all parts of our body dental implants may become infected. Here are two scenarios where dental implants may become infected.

Implant placement is a surgical procedure. Like any medical procedure, there are risks associated with them. One potential complication after implant placement  is infection, which can occur if bacteria get into the implant site. While the risk of infection is relatively low, it is important to understand the signs and symptoms and how to prevent and treat it if it does occur.

How to avoid post surgical infection:

  • Follow instructions from your dentist: Be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions for post-surgery care, including taking any prescribed medications.
  • Avoid tobacco; Smoking and other forms of tobacco use can increase the risk of infection.
  • Once the implant has healed and functions normally in the mouth, it will be subjected to the same bacteria that affect natural teeth. Gum disease which is a type of long term infection around teeth can also affect implants.

Dental implants are less forgiving than natural teeth.  Once an infection starts it is less likely to heal compared to a tooth. Preventative care is better than any potential cure.

How can you prevent dental implant infection?

There are several steps you can take to reduce the risk of infection:

  • Practice good oral hygiene: Brush and floss your teeth regularly to keep bacteria at bay.
  • Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet can help support your immune system and reduce the risk of infection.
  • Proper ongoing maintenance is essential to prevent infections

What are the signs and symptoms of a dental implant infection?

If you have a dental implant infection, you may experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Pain or swelling at the implant site
  • Redness or warmth in the area
  • Drainage from the implant site
  • Fever
  • General feeling of illness or malaise

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to contact your dentist as soon as possible.

How is a dental implant infection treated?

If you have a dental implant infection, your dentist will likely prescribe antibiotics to clear the infection. In some cases, the implant may need to be removed temporarily to allow the infection to heal before being reinserted.

If the infection is severe or does not respond to antibiotics, more aggressive treatment may be necessary. This could include removal of the implant and surrounding tissue, or a procedure called debridement, which involves cleaning out the infected area.

In conclusion, dental implants can get infected, but the risk is relatively low. To reduce your risk of infection, be sure to practice good oral hygiene, follow your dentist’s instructions, avoid tobacco, and eat a healthy diet. If you experience any signs or symptoms of a dental implant infection, be sure to contact your dentist right away for treatment.

If you have a dental implant infection or are concerned about the risk of infection, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of experienced dental professionals.

Our dental office can help diagnose and treat dental implant infections and provide you with the care you need to get back to optimal oral health. Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.

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