bone loss around dental implant

Why do I have bone loss around a dental implant?

Reasons for Bone Loss Around a Dental Implant


Bone loss around a dental implant can occur due to several reasons. Here are some possible explanations:

  1. Peri-implantitis: This is the most common cause of bone loss around dental implants. Peri-implantitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the tissues surrounding the implant, including the bone. It is typically caused by bacterial infection resulting from poor oral hygiene, which leads to the breakdown of the supporting bone. If left untreated, peri-implantitis can cause significant bone loss and even implant failure.
  2. Inadequate bone support: Dental implants require a certain amount of healthy bone to provide stability and support. If the bone density or volume in the implant area is insufficient, it can result in bone loss over time. This can occur when the implant is placed in an area with inadequate bone quality or quantity, or if there is progressive bone resorption after implant placement.
  3. Overloading or excessive forces: Dental implants are designed to withstand the normal biting and chewing forces. However, excessive forces, such as bruxism (teeth grinding) or an uneven bite, can overload the implant and surrounding bone. Over time, this can lead to bone loss and implant instability.
  4. Poor surgical technique: The success of a dental implant procedure depends on the skill and experience of the dentist or oral surgeon performing the surgery. If the implant is placed incorrectly or with inadequate surgical technique, it can compromise the surrounding bone and result in bone loss.
  5. Systemic factors: Certain systemic conditions, such as osteoporosis or uncontrolled diabetes, can affect bone health and contribute to bone loss around dental implants. Additionally, factors such as smoking, poor nutrition, and certain medications can impair the body’s ability to heal and maintain healthy bone.

It’s important to note that proper oral hygiene, regular dental visits, and following your dentist’s post-implant care instructions are crucial for preventing and managing bone loss around dental implants. If you’re experiencing bone loss or have concerns about your dental implant, it’s recommended to consult with your dentist or a dental specialist for a thorough evaluation and appropriate treatment.


Can it be prevented?

While it may not always be possible to completely prevent bone loss around dental implants, there are several measures that can significantly reduce the risk and slow down the progression of bone loss. Here are some preventive strategies:

  1. Good oral hygiene: Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is essential for preventing peri-implantitis and subsequent bone loss. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Floss daily and use interdental brushes or water flossers to clean hard-to-reach areas around the implant. Regularly visit your dentist for professional cleanings and check-ups.
  2. Quit smoking: Smoking has been associated with an increased risk of implant failure and bone loss. If you’re a smoker, quitting can significantly improve your oral health and reduce the likelihood of complications. Seek support from healthcare professionals or smoking cessation programs to help you quit.
  3. Regular dental check-ups: Schedule regular dental visits, ideally every six months or as recommended by your dentist. Routine examinations allow your dentist to monitor the health of your implant, detect any early signs of peri-implantitis or bone loss, and intervene promptly if necessary.
  4. Bite adjustment and occlusal evaluation: An uneven bite or excessive forces on the implant can contribute to bone loss. Your dentist can evaluate your bite and make any necessary adjustments to ensure proper occlusion, reducing the risk of implant overload.
  5. Healthy lifestyle choices: Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D, which are important for bone health. Exercise regularly to promote overall health and maintain strong bones. If you have systemic conditions that can affect bone health, such as osteoporosis or diabetes, work closely with your healthcare provider to manage and control these conditions effectively.
  6. Implant placement by a skilled professional: Choose a qualified and experienced dentist or oral surgeon to perform your implant placement surgery. Proper surgical technique and accurate placement of the implant can help minimize complications and reduce the risk of bone loss.

Remember that each individual’s case is unique, and preventive strategies may vary depending on your specific circumstances. It’s crucial to consult with your dentist or a dental specialist who can assess your oral health, provide personalized recommendations, and monitor your implant’s stability and bone health over time.

What can be done for the bone loss?

If you are already experiencing bone loss around your dental implant, there are several treatment options available to address the issue. The specific treatment approach will depend on the extent of the bone loss and the underlying cause. Here are some possible interventions:

  1. Non-surgical treatments: In the early stages of peri-implantitis or mild bone loss, non-surgical interventions may be attempted to halt the progression of bone loss. These treatments may include professional deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) to remove bacteria and infected tissues from around the implant, along with the use of antimicrobial rinses or local antibiotics to control the infection.
  2. Surgical interventions: If the bone loss is significant or non-surgical treatments are not effective, surgical procedures may be necessary. Some possible surgical interventions include:
    • Bone grafting: This involves placing grafting material in the area of bone loss to stimulate new bone growth and enhance the support around the implant.
    • Guided tissue regeneration: This procedure involves placing a barrier membrane around the implant to prevent the growth of soft tissues and promote the regeneration of bone.
    • Implant removal and replacement: In some cases, if the bone loss is severe and the implant is no longer viable, the implant may need to be removed, and a new implant can be placed once the bone has healed and regenerated.
  3. Ongoing maintenance and monitoring: After undergoing treatment for bone loss around a dental implant, it is crucial to maintain excellent oral hygiene and schedule regular follow-up appointments with your dentist. Your dentist will monitor the health of the implant and surrounding tissues, provide professional cleanings, and assess the stability of the implant over time.

It’s important to consult with a dental professional who specializes in implant dentistry for an accurate diagnosis and to determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on your specific situation. They will consider factors such as the extent of bone loss, the condition of the implant, and your overall oral health when developing a personalized treatment approach to address the bone loss around your dental implant.


If I am diabetic will it matter?

Yes, if you have diabetes, it can have an impact on the treatment and management of bone loss around dental implants. Diabetes is a systemic condition that affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels. It can have implications for oral health, including the healing process and the risk of complications associated with dental implants.

Here’s how diabetes can influence the treatment of bone loss around dental implants:

  1. Impaired wound healing: Diabetes can slow down the healing process and impair the body’s ability to regenerate bone and tissues. This can potentially affect the success of surgical interventions aimed at treating bone loss. It’s essential to manage your diabetes effectively to optimize healing and reduce the risk of complications.
  2. Increased risk of infection: People with diabetes are more susceptible to infections, including peri-implantitis, which is a common cause of bone loss around dental implants. Effective management of blood sugar levels and maintaining excellent oral hygiene are crucial in minimizing the risk of infections and subsequent bone loss.
  3. Complications and delayed healing: Uncontrolled diabetes can increase the risk of complications during dental implant procedures, such as poor bone integration, implant failure, and delayed healing. It’s important to work closely with your healthcare provider to manage your diabetes, maintain stable blood sugar levels, and optimize your overall health before undergoing implant treatment.
  4. Special considerations: Your dental team will need to take your diabetes into account when planning and implementing treatment for bone loss around dental implants. They may coordinate with your primary healthcare provider to ensure that your diabetes is well-managed before and during the treatment process.

Managing your diabetes effectively is crucial for minimizing the impact on dental implant treatment and optimizing outcomes. Here are some general recommendations:

  • Keep your blood sugar levels within the target range recommended by your healthcare provider.
  • Follow a well-balanced diet and exercise regularly to help control blood sugar levels.
  • Maintain excellent oral hygiene, including regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups.
  • Inform your dental team about your diabetes diagnosis and provide them with relevant medical information.
  • Work collaboratively with your healthcare provider and dental team to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that takes your diabetes into account.

Remember, each person’s situation is unique, and it’s important to consult with your dentist and primary healthcare provider for personalized guidance on managing diabetes and its impact on dental implant treatment. They will consider your specific health needs and tailor a treatment plan accordingly.

Dr. Hervas and his team at Implantation Dental Center look forward to serving you for all of your prosthodontics needs. Call us today to schedule a consultation and discuss your unique case.

(954) 476-0770