Dental implants are a popular choice for replacing missing teeth due to their durability and natural appearance. Like any surgical procedure, complications can arise, although they are rare in the case of dental implants.
Whether you’ve had your dental implants in Asheville for years or have recently healed from a procedure, infection is possible. If you’re concerned about a potential infection, it’s crucial to take immediate action to prevent further complications and ensure optimal oral health.
So what should you do if you have an infected dental implant?
What Causes an Infected Dental Implant?
Before we get into what to do if you have infected dental implants in Asheville, let’s take a quick look at the potential causes of an infected dental implant.
Dental implant infections are often caused by gum disease and poor oral hygiene. However, they can also be caused by smoking and chewing tobacco after surgery, an allergic reaction to the implant material, untreated diabetes, severe teeth grinding, and improper implant placement.
Your dentist in Asheville can help you determine the potential cause of the infection so you can pursue the appropriate treatment options.
Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of an Infected Dental Implant
The first step in dealing with an infected dental implant is recognizing the signs and symptoms. So how do you know if you have an infected dental implant?
Signs and symptoms may include:
- Persistent pain or discomfort around the implant
- Gum swelling, redness, or tenderness around the implant
- Chronic bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
- A loose implant that makes it difficult to bite or chew
- Visible white or yellow discharge around the implant
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s essential to see your dentist. Oral infections have the potential to be life-threatening, so it’s imperative to seek care as soon as possible.
Seek Professional Dental Care
If you have one or more of the above signs or symptoms, it’s time to contact your Asheville Dentist. Tell them what you’re experiencing and ask how soon you need to be seen. If your dentist isn’t open, consider seeking emergency care, especially if you have intense pain, swelling, or a fever, along with other symptoms of an infected dental implant.
It’s best to see a dentist if you can, and even if you go to the hospital for a dental emergency, be sure to follow up with your dentist to resolve the problem. Your dentist will examine the implant site, perform necessary diagnostic tests, and determine the best course of action to address the infection.
Potential Treatment Options
Your dentist will assess the implant’s viability based on the severity of the infection, any bone loss, and your overall oral health. Potential treatment options may include:
- Treating an abscess. If there is an abscess or pocket of infection around the implant, your dentist may need to drain the area and thoroughly clean it. This process may involve removing the implant temporarily to ensure proper cleaning and disinfection of the affected area.
- Antibiotics. To combat the infection, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics. Follow the prescribed dosage and complete the entire course of medication as directed. Antibiotics will clear up the infection and prevent it from spreading further.
- Implant removal. In some cases, if the infection persists or the implant becomes too compromised, it may need to be removed. If removal is necessary, a replacement implant may be considered once the infection has cleared.
Can an Infected Dental Implant Be Saved?
Whether or not an infected dental implant can be saved will depend on how severe the infection is and whether the implant is still stable. Your dentist will evaluate the implant and consider potential treatment options based on their findings.
However, there are cases where, despite the dentist’s best efforts, the infection cannot be resolved, and the implant must be removed. This might be the case if the infection is extensive, there is significant bone loss, or the implant becomes loose or unstable.
Every situation is unique, and the decision regarding the fate of an infected dental implant will depend on the clinical assessment by your dental professional. It’s essential to consult with your dentist as soon as possible if you suspect an infection in your dental implant. Early intervention and proper treatment are crucial for the best chances of saving the implant.
Caring for Your Dental Implant in the Future
If your implant can be saved and the infection resolved, it’s essential to properly care for your implant by maintaining excellent oral hygiene.
Follow your dentist’s instructions on how to care for the implant site during the healing process. This typically involves gentle brushing and flossing, using an antimicrobial mouth rinse, and eating soft foods.
In the event that your implant cannot be saved, your dentist will still provide instructions for your healing after the removal procedure. Follow these closely and contact your dentist if you have any questions. You can typically start pursuing tooth replacement options after you are fully healed from your treatment.
Follow-Up Appointments With Your Dentist in Asheville
Regular follow-up appointments with your dentist or oral surgeon are essential to monitor the healing process and ensure the infection has been successfully treated. Your dental professional will assess the implant site, check for any signs of reinfection, and address any concerns you might have, so don’t skip these important appointments!
Are You Worried About Your Dental Implant?
Dealing with an infected dental implant can be a stressful experience. However, by promptly recognizing the signs and symptoms, seeking professional dental care, following a prescribed treatment plan, and maintaining excellent oral hygiene, you can effectively address the infection and restore your oral health.
Remember, timely intervention is key when treating an infected dental implant, so don’t hesitate to seek immediate professional help if you suspect an infection. Are you worried about your dental implants in Asheville? If so, schedule an appointment with Saunders DDS today to have your smile evaluated. Contact us at (828) 277-6060 or reach us online!
Don’t ignore the signs! Take charge of your oral health today and get the treatment you need. Visit Saunders DDS in Asheville for expert care and restoration. Click here to book your appointment now!