A dental implant is a surgical procedure. It’s usually done in the dentist’s office and you can go home the same day, but it is a surgery, and every surgery carries certain risks.
With a dental implant, one of the most common risks is infection. Certain patients will experience an infection just beneath the gum during the first few weeks after the procedure, and this type of infection is generally cleared up easily with a round of antibiotics. Your dentist will provide you with a list of warning signs after your procedure, but it’s important to contact your dentist immediately if you have any symptoms of infection so that treatment can begin quickly.
Some patients may experience infection symptoms a few months after the surgery when the bone is healing. This is extremely uncommon, especially in patients who had no early infections. It can generally be fixed through a combination of antibiotics and a minor adjustment in the placement of the dental implant, but your dentist will explain your personalized treatment plan to you if this rare complication occurs.
In very rare cases, a patient may begin to develop infections after the implant has settled and the crown has been put on. In our Plantation dental office, we sometimes see patients who have had this type of implant infection crop up months or even years after their procedure, and they seek out the best implant dentist in South Florida to fix the problem.
Some of these delayed infections are caused by a poor fit of the crown. If the bottom part of the crown is not seated perfectly against the gum, bacteria and food particles can get underneath the crown and sit next to the gum line. When this happens, it’s usually best to replace the crown, but we can often do that without needing to remove or replace the dental implant itself.
Some delayed infections are simply caused by poor oral hygiene. If the gums are not cleaned well, it can cause gingivitis, which can leave gaps around the gum line for bacteria and food particles to enter between the crown and the gum. Healing and strengthening the gums can usually help to solve this problem.
It’s important for a patient who has had a dental implant to continue receiving regular dental care and checkups. The risk of infection is low, but regular dental exams will help to stop any potential infections before they progress to causing pain and discomfort.