Smiling Senior Dental Patient

Can Dental Implants Get Infected? Understanding Risks and Prevention at ENVY Dental in Wichita


Dental implants are a preferred solution for replacing missing teeth due to their durability and natural appearance. However, like any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection. At ENVY Dental, Implants & Esthetics in Wichita, KS, we are committed to educating our patients about potential risks and the best practices for preventing infection. Here’s what you need to know about infections related to dental implants and how they can be managed and prevented.

What Causes Infections Around Dental Implants?

Infections around dental implants, commonly referred to as peri-implantitis, involve inflammation of the gums and bone surrounding an implant. This condition can be caused by several factors:

  1. Poor Oral Hygiene: Inadequate brushing and flossing can allow bacteria to build up around the implant, leading to infection.
  2. Residual Cement: Sometimes, excess cement used to secure the crown on the implant can escape and irritate the surrounding tissues, creating a breeding ground for bacteria.
  3. Compromised Immune System: Patients with conditions that weaken the immune system, such as diabetes, are more susceptible to infections.
  4. Smoking: Smoking can impair healing and increase the risk of peri-implantitis.
Dentist Holding Dental Implant

Symptoms of Implant Infection

Recognizing the symptoms of an infection early can prevent more severe complications. Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Pain or discomfort around the implant area
  • Red or swollen gums around the implant
  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing around the implant
  • Pus or bad taste coming from the implant site
  • Loosening of the implant or the attached crown

Preventing Infections in Dental Implants

Prevention is key to maintaining the health of your dental implants. At ENVY Dental, we recommend the following practices:

  • Rigorous Oral Hygiene: Brush twice daily, floss regularly, and use an antimicrobial mouthwash to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Regular Dental Check-Ups: Routine visits to Dr. Vessali allow us to monitor your implants and overall oral health.
  • Quit Smoking: Giving up smoking can significantly reduce the risk of peri-implantitis and improve overall healing capabilities.
  • Professional Cleanings: Regular cleanings by a dental professional help maintain gum health and manage plaque buildup.

Treatment of Infected Dental Implants

If an infection does occur, it's important to treat it promptly to avoid further complications. Treatment may involve:

  • Deep Cleaning: The area around the implant is cleaned thoroughly to remove any plaque and tartar buildup.
  • Medication: Antibiotics may be prescribed to help clear the infection.
  • Surgical Intervention: In severe cases, surgery may be required to remove inflamed tissue and repair any bone loss.
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