As implants become a more common option to replace natural teeth, so do their issues. The most common reason for implant failure is peri-implantitis, which is brought on by too much biofilm. Implant failure is on the rise. The only way to get rid of this biofilm is to work with patients to develop a simple at-home regimen. The issue is that implants are frequently inserted into the mouths of patients who most likely lost their original tooth (or teeth) as a result of years of neglecting their dental care. Poor home care is the root of most oral health problems, including implant failure. Even when the original tooth has been replaced, the condition persists. Long-term implant success depends on educating patients about the fact that failure of an implant occurs for the same reasons that their natural tooth failed. When a patient becomes a candidate for implant placement, dental practitioners need to provide them with the appropriate tools and knowledge. Let's look into strategies for controlling implants and the development of peri-implant illness.
Before The Implant Is Placed
Giving implants to people whose oral hygiene caused them to lose their natural teeth is the same as giving an alcoholic a new liver. Without reform, the issue is likely to stay the same. We may use the reasoning that many orthodontic offices employ before treatment, where the patient occasionally needs to "show" that they are able to maintain their oral hygiene. If not, therapy is put on hold until they can show improvement. Patient compliance impacts the success of an implant, much like it does in orthodontics. This point must be understood by the patient. Since we encourage patients with poor oral hygiene to refrain from brushing or flossing the surgical site for a few weeks while it heals, implants provide a unique set of challenges from the start.The poor habits that were already in place are just reinforced by this.
One of the most crucial duties for a patient is the management of biofilm (dental plaque), which is necessary for the long-term effectiveness of an implant and the avoidance of peri-implantitis. According to numerous studies, the main etiological factor in the onset and spread of peri-implant infections is biofilm. The therapeutic properties of being able to break up biofilm or kill bacteria (and other pathogens) are not present in products like toothpaste, flossing, water piking, interdental brushes, etc. These are all mechanical techniques of removal. Biofilm, in particular around an implant, can be challenging to remove because it is difficult to reach with standard brushing and flossing. Therefore, a device that is both therapeutically effective and able to reach difficult-to-reach places must be used.
Maintaining Implant Health
There are several clinical therapies available to help manage peri-implant disorders, but the key to excellent outcomes is early detection and avoidance of problems. Infection, poor dental health, and general ill health are all factors that might cause implants to fail during the initial stages of installation. Thus, keeping the hard and soft tissues around the implant healthy is essential because they serve as biological barriers to prevent peri-implant illness. Periodontitis and peri-implant disease are both caused by microorganisms that are closely related to one another. These include microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and biofilm. The microorganisms are left behind in uncleaned, undisturbed parts of the mouth and, similar to periodontal disease, become more sophisticated as they age. This makes them more difficult to get rid of over time. This is why peri-mucositis is the first infection to show up surrounding a poorly maintained implant. In contrast to more severe, permanent peri-implantitis, this can be reversed. It is our responsibility as dental professionals to aid in the prevention of this condition and instruct patients on the appropriate instruments to use.
Reducing The Risk For Implant Failure
Consequently, how can we assist? During the healing process, implants need to be protected. In a perfect world, the defense would start during surgery, with therapeutic medicines helping to lessen pollutants at the surgical site. Since they cannot employ mechanical means of disruption during this period, they must instead continue to keep the area clean using something like a rinse. This will not only improve the environment for recovery but also highlight the need to provide their newest member with specialized care. A rinse might help with implant maintenance in the long run.
We advise our patients to clean and floss their teeth, and we hope they do so frequently, but even when they do, it is still purely mechanical. If these measures were sufficient to prevent gum disease, just 47% of Americans would have it, and that percentage wouldn't rise to 70% after age 60. These numbers are bad news for dental implants because they are more difficult to maintain using conventional methods. In order to provide patients with implants, improved techniques for treatment must be adopted as quickly as possible. To reduce the risk of implant failure, a treatment alternative that eliminates bacteria, fungi, and viruses as well as neutralizes volatile sulfur compounds and disassembles biofilm is required.
Studies have found that certain goods' medicinal ingredients can lessen the viability of pathogens in biofilm. Activated chlorine dioxide falls under this category. It has the power to eliminate fungi, viruses, bacteria, and biofilm while lowering volatile sulfur compounds. Daily usage of this active component for implants and general hygiene is safe. The Reassure system from OraCare is one such item that includes these components. Both a gel and a take-home rinse are included in this medication to assist the patient after surgery. It is our responsibility to develop more effective methods to prevent peri-implantitis given the rising popularity of implants. We need to give patients the right equipment because we are aware that most implant failures are caused by subpar homecare. Our best defense against the leading reason for implant failure is to develop a daily routine that includes a rinse with therapeutic benefits.
Kristin Goodfellow RDH
Kristin is Chief Clinical Officer of OraCare, a practicing Registered Dental Hygienist