Like teeth can get periodontal disease, similarly, dental implants can get an infection in the surrounding gums that is called peri-implantits. This is accompanied by a loss of the bone around the implant and over long-term could lead to implant loss.
Peri-implantitis is characterized clinically by bleeding and pus discharge from the gum around the implant and on the x-ray, by loss of bone around the implant. The example below shows a typical case of peri-implantitis.
Since peri-implantits may lead to implant loss and its treatment is not entirely predictable, the best strategy to follow is a preventive one. Careful self-performed cleaning has to be exercised from the patient as soon as the prosthesis is installed. Patient affected by severe periodontal disease might be more prone to get similar problems around the implants. Adherence to the recommended supportive program is therefore strongly advised in order to monitor implant health and take corrective action at the first signs of inflammation and bone loss. In this way early bone loss can be more easily controlled like in the example below.