The most common cause for dental implant loss is peri-implantitis. However, when peri-implantitis is detected early, treatments can potentially protect your dental implant from bone loss and ultimate failure.

However, new research suggests that some of these treatments may actually interfere with the healing response that will help preserve your dental implants after treatment.

Side Effects of a Common Antibiotic Treatment

One of the common treatments serious gum infection, whether it’s periodontitis or peri-implantitis is a chlorhexidine rinse. Chlorhexidine is a very powerful chemical sterilizing agent, and it’s very effective at killing oral bacteria. 

However, it may not be the best approach to saving dental implants from peri-implantitis, according to new research. This research showed that, although chlorhexidine was very effective at eliminating oral bacteria, it also left a residue on the dental implant surface. This residue made it more difficult for bone cells to grow on the surface of the dental implant.

Restoring Biocompatibility

One of the key concerns of peri-implantitis treatment, researchers write, is to restore biocompatibility to the dental implant. If the body can’t quickly grow bone around the dental implant, the peri-implant space is likely to become infected again, and the dental implant itself will be at risk of failure because of the reduced bone anchorage. 

To avoid this problem, researchers proposed other approaches to treating peri-implantitis. They compared chlorhexidine with citric acid, sterile saline solution, and NaOCl-EDTA (Sodium hypochlorite – Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid). They found that all these approaches were effective at killing oral bacteria on the implant surface, but they didn’t have the same negative impact on biocompatibility of the dental implant surface. In fact, they found out that the antibiotic properties of the solutions were not related to their biocompatibility when it came to bone cells. Thus, it’s possible to get antibiotic solutions that are also biocompatible.

Avoiding Peri-Implantitis

Of course, the best treatment for peri-implantitis is to avoid it in the first place. Working with a dental implant specialist can reduce your risk of peri-implantitis. Like gum disease, preventing peri-implantitis also depends on good oral hygiene. This includes brushing, flossing, and making your regular dental visits. It also means taking good care of your natural teeth, since cavities and deep pockets around your natural teeth can shelter oral bacteria that can then colonize the areas around your dental implant. Adding probiotics to your diet may also help protect dental implants.

Dental implants have the ability to last a lifetime, but they require a commitment from you and your dentist to achieve that goal. If you are looking for an Orange County implant dentist that is committed to your dental implants for a lifetime, please call (949) 551-5902 for an appointment at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.