How to Tell When You’re Suffering from a Dental Implant Infection
Dental implant infections are rare, but they can occur in some cases. If you’re planning to get dental implants, our Staten Island dental implant providers want patients to understand the signs of infection. If you’re experiencing any of the following mentioned throughout this article, contact our dental office as soon as possible.
What Is a Dental Implant Infection?
A dental implant infection affects the tissue surrounding a dental implant. Dental implant infections occur when bacteria enter the implant site and start to grow and multiply, causing inflammation and tissue damage.
There are two main types of dental implant infections: peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis. Peri-implant mucositis is a mild infection that affects the soft tissue around the implant, causing inflammation and bleeding. If left untreated, peri-implant mucositis can progress to peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis is a serious infection that affects both the soft tissue and the bone. It can cause bone loss, implant failure, and even spread to other parts of the body.
Signs of an Infected Dental Implant
Signs of an infected dental implant include:
- Pain or discomfort around the implant site
- Swelling and redness around the implant site
- Pus or discharge coming from the implant
- A foul taste in the mouth
- Difficulty biting or chewing
- Loose or wobbly implant
- Fever or chills
- General malaise or feeling unwell
Not all of these symptoms need to be present for an infected dental implant to be diagnosed. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your dentist as soon as possible.
How to Remedy Your Infection
If you suspect that you have an infected dental implant, contact your dentist immediately. Your dentist will examine your implant to determine the extent of the infection and develop a course of treatment.
The treatment for an infected dental implant depends on the severity of the infection. Mild infections may be treated with antibiotics or antiseptic mouthwash. More severe infections may require surgery to remove the implant or to clean the implant area.
Dental implants may need to be removed and replaced in rare cases. Your dentist will work with you to develop a treatment plan that’s best for your needs.
Reducing the Changes of Dental Implant Infection
An infection of a dental implant is rare. However, it’s always best to practice these tips to lower the risk of an infection developing:
- Maintain good oral hygiene: Proper oral hygiene is essential for preventing infections around dental implants. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and use an antiseptic mouthwash as directed.
- Follow aftercare instructions: After your procedure, your dentist will provide you with specific dental implant post-op care instructions to follow. Follow these instructions closely to minimize your risk of infection.
- Quit smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for dental implant infections. If you’re a smoker, quitting smoking is one of the most important steps you can take to reduce your risk of infection.
- Manage underlying health conditions: Certain underlying health conditions, such as diabetes and autoimmune disorders, can increase your risk of developing an infection around a dental implant. Manage these conditions effectively to reduce your risk of infection.
- Choose a qualified and experienced dental professional: Choosing a qualified and experienced dental professional to perform your dental implant procedure is key to reducing your risk of infection. Be sure to choose a dentist who has the necessary training and experience to perform the procedure safely and effectively.
- Use antibiotics prophylactically: In some cases, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics before or after a dental implant procedure to reduce your risk of infection. Be sure to take these medications as directed by your dentist.
Is a Dental Implant Infection an Emergency?
If you suspect you have a dental implant infection, contact your dentist as soon as possible. While dental implant infections are not always emergencies, they can become serious if left untreated. If you’re experiencing severe pain, swelling, or other symptoms, seek emergency dental care. Your dentist will be able to evaluate your condition and provide the necessary treatment.