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Peri-implantitis: One of the hidden risks of Dental Implants

Dental implants are a common procedure in the UK, with at least half a million of adults in the UK having at least one, according to the Adult Dental Health Survey. However, few people are aware of a condition that can arise from having dental implants, known as Peri-implantitis.

May 31, 2016

This is an infectious disease that causes inflammation of the surrounding tissue and bone of the implants, eventually leading to the deterioration and loss of the bone where the implant has been connected. As this condition isn’t particularly painful in the initial stages, the process can often happen without the patient being aware that it is happening, which prevents them from receiving any treatment. Peri-implantitis could happen at any time after having dental implants, some patients have been known for this to become prevalent soon after having the treatment, whilst other patients have experienced the condition many years after having their implants.

There are several factors that can encourage the development of Peri-implantitis, these include:

  • Smoking; as this causes the narrowing of blood vessels which can encourage bone loss
  • If you suffer from diabetes
  • If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis
  • Poor immune system
  • Having gum disease in the past
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Teeth grinding (Bruxism)

There are also a number of other risk factors that can be caused during the surgical process, that may encourage the development of this condition. These include:

  • Soft bone in the jaw
  • The implant not being tightened well enough
  • Wrong sized implant being used
  • Bone overheating during the procedure
  • Plus, much more

Typically, with with Peri-implantitis there no little to no pain, which can make it more difficult for a patient to spot, however the signs to look out for include;

  • Deepened gum pockets
  • Pus seeping from the implants or gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Discolouration of the gums
  • Metal exposure from the screw of the implant
  • The appearance of a “long tooth”

Though in some cases Peri-implantitis is just an avoidable side effect have having a dental implant, in other cases it can be caused as a result of negligent treatment given to you by your dentist. They have a responsibility take all of the necessary precautions to ensure that all risks are minimised as much as possible, ensuring that the procedure is carried out to a high standard. Also, before any procedure is carried out, your dentist is obliged to inform you of all risks associated with the procedure, so you can make an informed decision on whether or not you wish to continue.

If you believe you have fallen victim to dental negligence, speak to one of our specialist solicitors today for a free, no obligation discussion.

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