One of the most amazing benefits of dental implants is their remarkably high success rate. In non-smokers, their chance of failure is less than 2%. Unfortunately, though, no medical procedure (even dental implants) comes completely risk-free. Although they’re rare, dental implant infections can lead to implant failure and damage the surrounding gums and jawbone. The good news is that with the right care and maintenance, you can ensure your dental implants in Orange Park stay in great condition. Keep reading to learn what to look for and how you can avoid the risk of dental implant infection.
Signs of an Infected Dental Implant
Getting dental implants involves undergoing a surgical procedure. While this surgery is relatively minor, there are risks of infection with any surgery. Here are some common symptoms to watch out for:
- Gums that are red, swollen, tender, or bleeding
- Discomfort or pain when chewing
- An implant that feels loose or wobbly
- Receding gums around the implant
How Your Dentist Can Treat the Problem
If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, or even if something about your implant just doesn’t feel right, call your dentist in Orange Park immediately. The earlier that problems are found, the easier treatment will be.
Depending on the extent of the infection, treatment might be as simple as prescribing a round of antibiotics or an antibacterial mouth rinse. Sometimes, your dentist might need to remove the restoration and abutment to give the underlying area a thorough cleaning. In some cases, the implant might have to be removed and replaced altogether. After evaluating your mouth, your dentist will develop a conservative treatment plan to minimize the risk of implant failure down the road.
Tips for Preventing Dental Implant Infections
Luckily, there are some precautions you can take to reduce your risk from the very beginning, including:
- If you can, quit smoking at least two weeks before the procedure.
- Closely follow the post-op instructions from your dentist.
- Once it has been two days since your surgery, gently rinse your mouth out with saltwater a few times a day. This can safely and effectively kill bacteria and promote a smooth recovery.
- Keep your mouth clean with brushing and flossing, but be extra careful around the implant site.
- For the first couple of weeks after your procedure, avoid crunchy or hard foods. Instead, stick to soft foods like yogurt, applesauce, bananas, mashed potatoes, etc.
For long-term maintenance, be sure to see your dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. Also, brush and floss your restoration every day. When it comes to dental implants (and your oral health in general), an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
While the risk of dental implant infection is low, it’s not zero. By following these simple guidelines, you can maximize their chance of success right from the start.
About the Author
Dr. Matthew Nawrocki is a general dentist and prosthodontist in Orange Park, FL. After earning his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Florida College of Dentistry, he completed several years of additional training in tooth replacement. He is qualified to place and restore dental implants in his office. To learn more about how to preserve your implants, contact his office at 904-272-1588.