Gingivitis, or gum inflammation, is always worth your attention. Although it is common, it typically indicates a progressing infection under the gum line, and may turn into the more serious periodontitis if it’s not brought under control. But there is one kind of gum infection that’s even more concerning to us, which is peri-implantitis. At All Coast Dental in Pacific Beach, our dentists are experienced providers of dental implants. We know what it takes for this procedure to succeed, so we hope everyone will protect themselves from implant-destroying infections.
Implants are screws made from titanium, but they’re not invulnerable. If all goes well, after they are inserted into the patient’s jawbone, new bone tissue will fuse with them in a process called osseointegration. The process will take several months, after which the top of the implant can be exposed and an artificial dental crown can be cemented onto its abutment. But implants and artificial crowns, like natural teeth and gums, can be damaged by the acid oral bacteria secrete as they metabolize sugar. If an infection grows inside a gum pocket, it could erode the implant post and prevent bone tissue from merging with it. If an implant becomes mobile, or a patient continues losing jaw bone tissue after it’s been placed, it will have to be removed.
The name peri-implantitis describes inflammation around an implant. The good news is that it can usually be avoided by maintaining regular oral hygiene and avoiding smoking. Even if inflammation develops, the implant may be saved if a patient is able to get a deep cleaning done quickly enough. We monitor patients after an implant is placed to ensure it is fusing well and we will work with patients to determine which kind of dental prosthetic they are a good candidate for in the first place. However, implants are meant to last for over a decade, and they need to be cared for throughout their lifespan.
Drs. Julie and Joseph Boulos operate All Coast Dental at 2180 Garnet Ave, Suite 1-K, Pacific Beach, California, 92109. To schedule an appointment, call 858-270-4904 or visit All Coast Dental and fill out a contact sheet.