How to maintain osseointegrated implants?

Osseointegration is a method used for the rehabilitation of edentulous patients, either totally or partially edentulous. Dr. Astoreca explains what peri-implant diseases exist and how to avoid them.

In recent years, tissue and bone integration of dental implants has been shown to have satisfactory long-term results.

However, the tissues supporting osseointegrated implants can suffer from various peri-implant pathologies:

1. peri-implant mucositis: these are reversible inflammatory changes limited to the peri-implant soft tissues of a functioning implant.

2. Early failure: occurs a few weeks or months after implantation, before osseointegration occurs, and is caused by factors that interfere with healing, such as bacterial contamination, systemic diseases, smoking, poor bone quality…

3. Late failure: these are failures derived from pathological processes involving an osseointegrated implant (such as peri-implantitis).

They are very similar to periodontal lesions associated with teeth and are related to the patient’s oral hygiene. This has to be thorough with the use of toothbrushes, dental floss and oral irrigators.

The best treatment of peri-implantitis is its prevention. This is achieved by being rigorous in the diagnosis and treatment plan and getting the patient to attend periodic check-ups.

In these revisions a clinical and radiological control of the implants is carried out and the plaque and tartar present in the patient’s oral cavity are removed.

Finally, it is necessary to control the presence of parafunctions such as bruxism through the use of unloading splints, since they cause overload on the implants.