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Can Dental Implants Get Infected?

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.  If you have dental anxiety, read our article on how to overcome fear of the dentist.
  • 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. and read our article on choosing the right toothbrush and toothpaste to ensure you’re using the best tools for the job.
  • 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.  Maintaining good oral hygiene, including keeping your breath fresh, is essential for preventing and managing infections. Read our article on saying goodbye to bad breath for tips on keeping your breath fresh.

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. Laser periodontal treatment can also be an effective alternative for treating infections.

In conclusion, dental implants can get infected, but the risk is relatively low. To learn more about dental implants and how to care for them properly, read our complete guide to dental implants by AAID.  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.

Don’t let dental implant infections stand in the way of your optimal oral health. Our team of skilled dentist specialists is here to provide top-notch care, diagnose and treat implant infections, and ensure your long-lasting oral well-being. With personalized attention and cutting-edge treatment options, we’ll support you throughout the process and address any concerns you may have. Take charge of your oral health today—contact our clinic to schedule an appointment and start your journey towards a brighter, more confident smile.

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