Dental implants are replacements for the root of a tooth, onto which artificial teeth (crowns) can be attached. Usually made from titanium, they are fitted into the jawbone by a dental surgeon. There are many reasons why you may require a dental implant, including infections and trauma to the tooth or jawbone. Usually, dental implants are a permanent and effective solution for such problems, helping to relieve pain and restore full function of the mouth and teeth. However, in some cases, you may experience problems with a dental implant that will require treatment from a dentist.
The fitting of a dental implant is an invasive surgical procedure that involves drilling into the jawbone before 'screwing in' the implant. While this procedure is usually very safe, in rare cases, it can cause damage to the surrounding tissues. This can include damage to nerves that are near the implant. Nerve damage can cause chronic pain or a lack of sensation in an area of the mouth.
If you experience pain or numbness for longer than a few days after the dental implant surgery, you should contact your dentist. The nerve damage can be temporary or permanent and will often need to be treated by the dentist removing or adjusting the implant.
Mucositis and Peri-implantitis
One of the most common causes of dental implant problems is poor oral hygiene following the procedure. Failure to effectively clean the teeth will lead to a buildup of bacteria. Where dental implants are involved, the bacteria can build up on the surface of the implant. The bacteria can cause infection and inflammation of the mucous membrane around the implant. This is known as mucositis, and can cause bleeding, bad breath, and localised swelling.
If left untreated, mucositis can lead to a much more serious condition called peri-implantitis. This is a progression of the infection which causes more inflammation and even bone loss around the implant. This can lead to a severe loosening of the implant.
Often mucositis and peri-implantitis can be treated with antibiotics or a deep clean of the implant surface (carried out by a dentist). This will help to eliminate the bacterial buildup and infection. In more severe cases of peri-implantitis, a surgical procedure may be necessary in order to fully clean the implant. In the most serious cases, where the implant has become very loose, dental implant restoration or removal procedures may be required.
For more information, contact Tijeras Dental Service or a similar location.