Modern implantology has improved the quality of life for millions of people, allowing them to have fixed teeth instead of mobile prostheses that can be annoying.
What many patients don’t know is that implants can also get ‘sick’. Perimplantitis is a bacterial infection that affects the bone tissue surrounding the titanium implant and causes bone damage and destruction.
Peri-implantitis and periodontal disease have several similarities.
Periodontitis (or periodontal disease) is a very common disease that affects the supporting tissues of the tooth and is the main cause of tooth loss. The bacterial population that causes peri-implant disease is very similar to the one that causes periodontal disease.
Despite this, scientific studies show that even patients who have lost their teeth due to periodontal disease can be successfully treated using titanium implants.
The PST (periodontal support therapy) is crucial for long-term maintenance of the implants. It is individualized for each patient and allows effective control of the bacterial plaque thanks to professional hygiene sessions, patient education and correct home hygiene and motivation.
By teaching and helping our patients maintain their teeth, we also help them maintain the implants they may need. Other factors that may favor the onset of peri-implant disease seem to be smoking, uncontrolled diabetes and genetic factors.
It is therefore important to discuss with the patient how to keep individual risk as low as possible by encouraging smoking cessation and adherence to a hygiene maintenance program.
Regular checks are also important to intercept the problem at its onset. This way it is easier to treat, and to implement the appropriate therapies when necessary. It is true that implants can get ‘sick’ but it is also true that peri-implantitis, like periodontal disease, can be treated!