As mentioned in the Implant Therapy section, dental implants have an extremely high success rate (95-99%) when placed by trained clinicians. However, they can develop problems. While implants do not decay like natural teeth, they can suffer from peri-implantitis, which is analogous to periodontitis of a natural tooth. Peri-implantitis is the loss of bone support around the implant due to a low grade chronic inflammation associated with dental plaque, the bacterial biofilm that causes cavities and periodontal disease. Due to the implant being a foreign body, it has minimal to no resistance to this inflammation, and it has been shown that they can have up to 3x as much bone loss as teeth with the same amount of plaque.
Due to the propensity for destruction, peri-implantitis is extremely important to diagnose and treat early on. If peri-implantitis is left untreated, it may result in the need to remove the implant. Peri-implantitis is treated in similar ways as periodontal disease.
Grafting of Exposed Implant