Media Hysteria and Dental Implant Risks

implantsIf you’ve been around for a while reading papers and watching the news, you know how media operates–it’ll do anything it can to get a few more clicks, sales, or subscriptions. Their favorite tactic is to find something that is growing in popularity and find some new dangerous complication they can promote to make it seem like this thing that everyone is doing is actually not a good idea.

And they’re not at all above exaggerating a few facts or even making them up to make something seem more dangerous than it is. With dental implants helping so many people restore their smiles, it was only natural that they would become a target for this kind of media attention, and it turns out that peri-implantitis is the complication of choice. If you’re considering dental implants, it’s important that you understand this hysteria for what it is–media-manipulated half truths.

What Is Peri-Implantitis?

Peri-implantitis is basically the same disease as periodontitis. Periodontitis is when an infection around your teeth results in bone loss and can even lead to you losing your tooth or teeth. Peri-implantitis, on the other hand, is an infection around your dental implant that can cause bone loss, resulting in the loss of the implant.

A Secret New Disease?

Some articles you might read make it sound like peri-implantitis is a condition that dentists have either been ignorant of or have been trying to hide.This article, for example, makes it sound like the condition has been newly discovered and it’s a horrible, shocking discovery. But if you actually look at the article, you’ll note that their example is a woman who developed peri-implantitis twelve years after getting dental implants–because she lost her teeth to periodontitis.

The truth is that although dentists have long been aware that infection around the dental implant is a potential complication that can lead to implant failure, they just haven’t been prepared to label it as something different than periodontal disease. The similarities between the conditions are such that most dentists prefer to call them both periodontal disease. Thus, although the label is somewhat new, it’s irresponsible journalism to suggest that the condition is new.

Who Is at Risk?

If you have dental implants, you may potentially develop peri-implantitis, the same way that anyone with teeth can develop periodontitis. You may be at more risk for the condition, however, if you:

  • Have had gum disease in the past
  • Continue to smoke after getting your dental implants
  • Are not careful about your oral hygiene
  • Have a higher genetic risk for gum disease

Whether you have dental implants already or are considering them, it’s important to talk to a dentist about potential risks. Please call 619-727-6633 today for an appointment with a San Diego dentist at Strober Dental.