Peri-implant mucositis refers to early phases of inflammation around dental implants without bone loss. It is equivalent of gingivitis around natural teeth. Peri-implant mucositis is caused by plaque retention and results in pain, redness, and bleeding of gum tissue around dental implants and restorations. Plaque retention can be caused by either poor home oral hygiene care, lack of professional care, or ill-fitting restorations. If untreated, it leads to peri-implantitis which is characterized by bone loss and eventual implant failure.
Peri-implant mucositis can be prevented by an effective home and professional hygiene care regimen and precisely-fitting restorations. During regular dental check up and cleanings, it is important that implant-specific instruments are used by the dentist to avoid surface gauging and damage to the implant and its abutment which is made of Titanium. The current recommendations are use of specialized teflon-coated piezo ultrasonic instruments to remove attached hard plaque (calculus) and air / powder instrument to clean around implants and remove biofilm (a sticky film made of mucous and plaque).
Diagnosis of peri-implant mucositis maybe made if the gum tissue appears red, tender, and bleeds upon periodontal probing in absence of bone loss demonstrated by conventional x-ray AND Cone Beam CT Scan (CBCT).
Treatment of peri-implant mucositis includes the following:
- A customized home care regimen using implant-specific brushes and floss: Your dentist and hygienist should provide you with an effective regiment. A good source of specialized home care hygiene products is www.tepe.com
- Professional hygiene care every 3-4 months. Use of specialized teflon-coated piezo ultrasonic instruments to remove attached hard plaque (calculus) and air / powder instrument to clean around implants and remove biofilm (a sticky film made of mucous and plaque). EMS Airflow Prophylaxis Master is currently the best implant-specific hygiene instrument.
- Most treatments can be done non-surgically although in some circumstances a surgical intervention consisting of a gum tissue flap may be required for better exploration and evaluation of the peri-implant area.
If you are experiencing pain around your dental implants due to either peri-implant mucositis or peri-implantitis, speak to one of our treatment solution specialists at our Dental Implant Complication Center to assist you with the right treatment.