Dental implant inflammation is one of the most common of the post-dental implantation complications. It is the most immediate symptom of post-implantation infection and is characterized by the swelling of the tissues surrounding the implantation area. Dental implant inflammation does not necessarily occur immediately after the placement of an implant; in fact, it has been known to occur months or even years later. It is a condition that, if left untreated, can lead to bone loss and dental implant failure.
The following are the major causes of dental inflammation:
- Presence of bacteria during or immediately after a dental implant
- Contamination of dental implants
- Poor sterilization of the tools used in the implantation procedure
- Low-quality implants
- Improperly placed dental implant
- Poor oral hygiene
A few tips to reduce the risk of inflammation
- Your dentist might put you on a course of antibiotics a few days before your implant surgery. This is a preemptive measure to reduce the risk of post-implantation infection and hence must be followed strictly.
- You may want to ensure that your dentist strictly follows sterilization procedures such as heat-sterilizing instruments (including hand-pieces), using new gloves for each and every patient, and disinfecting all the surfaces in the operatory that the patients are likely to touch. A sterile environment during the implant surgery is inevitable for infection control and your health. If you are not sure that the infection-control protocols are followed, you should share your concerns with your dentist and ask him/her to show you the office’s instrument-processing area.
- Make sure that you take the antibiotics your dentist prescribes on-time and for as many days as ordered.
- The use of an antibacterial mouthwash can also help prevent dental implant infections.
- Maintain proper oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing are very important and must be done at least twice a day. Take special care to clean the implant-supported tooth and the areas surrounding it, including the gum line, the gums, and the neighboring teeth.
- Visit your dentist regularly for periodic dental checkups and cleanings.
- Refrain from smoking as it is a major setback on the healing process, and increases the risk of infections.