Infected Dental Implants
Dental implants have a very high success rate; however, it is possible for implants to fail or for an infection to occur. It is important to follow any aftercare instructions provided by your periodontist and to take antibiotics as prescribed to reduce your risk of infection or implant failure. If following placement of your dental implants you notice any of the following, this may be an indication that your dental implants have become infected.
- Difficulty chewing or experiencing pain while chewing: Patients will experience difficulty or pain while chewing immediately after the dental implant procedure, however this should be manageable with pain medication and ice therapy and should begin to subside within a few days. If you are experiencing pain that is persisting or spreading, or if you have had dental implants for some time and are experiencing discomfort that has no discernible cause, this may indicate an infected dental implant.
- Redness, swelling, fever: Any of these symptoms independently or together can be an indication of an infected dental implant.
- Bleeding or leaking pus: Any signs of leaking pus or bleeding that persists are indications of an infection and should be addressed as soon as possible.
- Chronic bad taste: Bad breath or a chronic bad taste in one’s mouth can be caused by a variety of factors, one of which is an infected dental implant. If you have noticed this issue even after brushing your teeth, schedule an appointment with your periodontist.
- Implant is loose: A loosened implant may be the result of an infection or a number of issues. Regardless of the underlying cause, you should see a periodontist immediately if your dental implant becomes loose.
If you would like to learn more about dental implant infections and what steps you should take if your dental implants do become infected, or what steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing a dental implant infection, please refer to the following.
Causes of Dental Implant Infections
Underlying health conditions, like diabetes, gum disease, and/or cancer are all common underlying reasons why a dental implant may be more likely to occur. An implant can also become infected due to improper initial placement, which is why it is essential that you have the dental implant procedure performed by a qualified and highly skilled periodontist. The most common reason a dental implant becomes infected, however, is because patients neglect to follow aftercare instructions and do not practice proper oral hygiene habits.
To help ensure you avoid developing a dental implant infection, follow these simple guidelines:
- Follow a soft food diet
- Take prescribed antibiotics and/or pain medication as directed until your prescription runs out
- Avoid intense physical activity
- Be gentle when brushing, especially when brushing around the implant site
- Once your healing process is complete, continue brushing and flossing twice daily, eat a healthy diet, and schedule regular examinations with your periodontist at least every six months.
If you have noticed any of the aforementioned issues persisting or are concerned that there is something wrong with your dental implant, contact your periodontist as soon as possible. If you have developed an infection or there is some other issue with your dental implants, the sooner you address this issue the better your outcome will be.