Peri-Implantitis is basically gum disease and bone loss around an implant, similar to the way gum disease occurs around natural teeth. While dental implants are a great way to replace a missing tooth or teeth and can last a lifetime, sometimes problems can occur. Fortunately if caught and treated early the problems can be corrected and the implant saved.
Many factors can contribute to peri-implantitis such as how well you keep your implant(s) clean at home, implant crown cement left behind below the gumline, calculus (tartar) formation on the implant surface, and/or foreign matter getting stuck around the implant such as popcorn husks. Your overall health can also contribute, especially if you have poorly controlled diabetes or are a tobacco user.
Current studies indicate that as many as 20% of implants develop peri-implantitis by 6-7 years after placement. Newer studies suggest the risk may be even higher, and find that peri-implantitis occurrence increases with an increasing number of years an implant is in service. Additionally the inflammatory nature of peri-implantitis can be a risk factor for systemic conditions such as heart disease and stroke, much in the same way as gum disease around natural teeth is known to do.
Dr. Shumaker recommends strict maintenance cleaning and monitoring regimens for dental implants to prevent peri-implantitis. When peri-implantitis is detected procedures may be necessary to control it before your implant is lost. This may include deep cleaning, perioscopy, laser surgical treatment, or traditional surgical access to explore and remove contributing factors, and possibly bone grafting around your implant to restore bone lost to peri-implantitis.