Dental implants can become infected, with development of certain clinical findings associated with the severity of the disease process.


Initially there is development of dental plaque with gingivitis about the implant, resulting in a peri-implant mucositis. As the infection spreads along the implant, a peri-implantitis develops.


The risk appears higher in patients with a history of periodontal disease.


Clinical findings:

(1) erythema and swelling

(2) increased sulcular probing depth (peri-implant pocket formation)

(3) pain

(4) pus discharge

(5) gingival bleeding after probing

(6) mobility of the implant once the apical portion loses its attachment


Imaging studies show increased radiolucency corresponding to osseous degeneration about the implant. Initially this is superficial and circumferential, with sparing of the apical portion, but later will extend down around the entire implant.


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