Dental implants are an effective solution to replace missing teeth and can improve the overall health of your mouth. But how can you treat an infected dental implant?
Unfortunately, infection is a common issue around dental implants. If left untreated, the infection can cause the implant to fail, leading to further complications and the need to replace the implant. That is why it is crucial to seek prompt treatment when infection is suspected.
But how do you know if your dental implant is infected? Take a look at the following signs:
5 Signs Your Dental Implants Are Infected
Knowing the signs of infection around dental implants is essential to treat it properly. If you experience any of the following symptoms, it is important to contact your dentist for further evaluation.
Redness in the gum tissue surrounding the implant may indicate an infection.
Swelling around the implant
Swelling around the implant can be a sign of an infection and should be addressed as soon as possible by a dental professional.
Pain when chewing or biting
Pain when biting or chewing can indicate an infection in the implant area.
Pus or bad breath
Pus or bad breath can also be a sign of infection and should be checked by a dental professional.
Loose teeth in the area of the implant can also be a sign of an infection and is an indication that the implant may need to be replaced.
Understanding the signs of a dental implant infection is the first step in treatment, but now it’s time to learn a little bit more about how these infections are caused.
Understanding Infection Around Dental Implants
Infection around a dental implant is caused by bacteria entering the gums around the implant. This can be caused by poor oral hygiene, gum disease, trauma to the implant, or an existing medical condition.
The signs and symptoms of infection around a dental implant include pain, swelling, redness, inflammation, and tenderness. Patients should also watch out for discoloration of the implant, bad breath, and discharge from the implant site.
How to Prevent Infection Around Dental Implants
Preventing infection around your dental implants starts with practicing good oral hygiene. This means:
- Keeping up a regular brushing and flossing schedule (twice per day).
- Using an antibacterial mouth rinse to stave off infection.
- Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, which can put you at a higher risk for infection.
- Getting regular dental check-ups is also important to keep your dental implants clean and healthy.
- Seeking professional help in case of discomfort or infection.
Your dentist or implant specialist can provide you with the proper treatment and advice to help prevent the infection from worsening.
When to Get Medical Help?
It’s essential to contact your dentist if you experience any signs of infection around a dental implant, such as:
- Pus discharge
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Foul smell
If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your dentist to diagnose and treat the infection before it causes further damage.
Treating Infection Around Dental Implants
Treating infection around a dental implant requires a two-pronged approach.
The first step is to remove the source of infection, such as bacteria, plaque, and calculus, from around the implant.
The second step is to treat the infection with antibiotics, either orally or through a course of intravenous antibiotics. This second step can look a little different depending on what treatment option best fits that particular case of infection.
Various treatment options are available to treat infection around dental implants, including antibiotics, surgical drainage, and implant removal.
Antibiotics can be taken orally or intravenously, depending on the severity of the infection.
Surgical drainage involves making an incision around the implant to allow the pus to drain.
In more severe cases, the implant may need to be removed to eradicate the infection completely.
Managing Infections and Alleviating Discomfort
To help manage the infection and alleviate discomfort, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly. Taking any prescribed medication (always as directed) will go a long way toward alleviating discomfort, and a saline rinse can help reduce inflammation and prevent infections. If you notice any signs of infection, you should contact your dentist to have it looked at.
Aftercare for Dental Implants
The outline for restricting injection is the same as the aftercare advice for dental implants, but we’ll set them out here again:
- Patients should follow a strict oral hygiene regimen to prevent infection and maintain the health of their dental implants.
- Brushing twice daily and flossing at least once a day is essential for removing plaque and food particles from around the implant. Regular dental visits for cleanings and checkups will help ensure the implant remains healthy.
- Patients should also be aware of any changes in their dental health that could indicate an infection and contact their dentist as soon as possible for treatment.
Practical tips for managing pain
Pain and discomfort are common after dental implant treatment. Patients should take over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen or Tylenol to minimize pain. Cold compresses can also reduce swelling and pain. Additionally, speaking with the dentist about any pain or discomfort is recommended.
Practical tips for managing swelling
Swelling is a common side effect after dental implant treatment. To reduce swelling, patients should apply cold compresses to the affected area and take over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or Tylenol.
Practical tips for managing discomfort after treatment
Discomfort is also common after dental implant treatment. Patients should take over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or Tylenol to reduce discomfort. Cold compresses can also reduce swelling and pain. Also, speaking with the dentist about any pain or discomfort is recommended.
Can an infected dental implant be saved?
Yes, an infected dental implant can be saved. The best way to do this is to see a dentist as soon as possible and get a proper diagnosis. Depending on the severity of the infection, the dentist may be able to clean the implant and put antibiotics in the area to help clear up the infection. If the infection is more serious, the dentist may have to surgically remove the implant and replace it with a new one.
How do I know if my dental implant is infected?
If you think you have an infection around your dental implant, the first thing to do is to make an appointment with your dentist to get a proper diagnosis. Signs of infection include redness and swelling in the area, tenderness to the touch, and drainage or pus coming from the site. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of the mouth, so getting it treated as soon as possible is important.
Can peri-implantitis go away on its own?
No, peri-implantitis cannot go away on its own. Peri-implantitis is an infection that can cause bone loss around the implant, so it is essential to get it treated as soon as possible. The best way to do this is to see a dentist who can diagnose the problem and prescribe the appropriate treatment plan.
How common are dental implant infections?
Dental implant infections are uncommon but can occur if the implant is not properly cared for. Proper oral hygiene and regular check-ups with your dentist can help reduce the risk of infection. Following your dentist’s instructions for proper implant care, such as brushing and flossing, is important to reduce your risk of infection.
Can antibiotics clear up a dental implant infection?
Yes, antibiotics can help to clear up a dental implant infection. The type of antibiotics prescribed will depend on the type and severity of the infection. It is important to take the full course of antibiotics as your dentist prescribes to ensure the infection is completely cleared up.
Get Immediate Help if you Suspect your Dental Implant is Infected
Following a strict oral hygiene regimen and regular dental visits can prevent infections around dental implants. If an infection does occur, it is important to contact the dentist immediately for treatment.
At Hanna Dental Implant Center, we provide all treatment necessary for all implant-related procedures. Our board-certified periodontist has over 14 years of experience performing thousands of implant procedures. We are dedicated to providing high-quality care to our patients so they can have a life-long and anxiety-free solution for missing or failing teeth.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a dental implant specialist.