Techniques For Preventing Implant Infections

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Dental implants have a high success rate. However, when they do fail, one of the common causes is that an infection takes hold as the mouth heals from the dental implant surgery. However, some dentists believe that this problem can be prevented through the use of radicals.

Free Radicals as Biocides

When bacteria forms around the site of the implant, this can lead to bone loss. This leads to the need for extensive treatments and a poorer health outcome. The patient might need a full dental restoration to maintain the integrity of the dental implant and the patient's jaw. 

Bacteria often race to form a biofilm on the surface of the dental implant. Once they have colonized in this way, they will be much stronger. To prevent this, the implant is usually treated with antibiotics. However, the antibiotics are often not effective enough due to the biofilm. This problem can be solved through free radicals.

The reactivity that is found in free radicals can be used to kill the bacteria that have formed a biofilm. TiO and hydrogen peroxide can be used to create a dark catalysis. This allows for free radicals to be released without the need for exposure to sunlight. The dark catalysis could be applied to bone scaffolds to allow for the regeneration of lost bone tissue while also killing bacteria. 

Protective Coatings

Another way to prevent bacteria from forming is to place a coating over the implant that prevents the bacteria from forming on it. Newer coatings allow dental implants to take hold faster and allow for a more permanent bond to form with the jawbone. Newer coatings also come with a rough texture that helps facilitate cellular growth. 

The protective layers consist of two plasma polymer layers with a layer of silver in-between them. The outer layer releases ions that are toxic to bacteria. The implant coating can be adjusted so that the silver ions are released at the right time when the implant is placed in the jawbone to ensure that any bacteria that attempt to infect the implant are killed. 

Symptoms of Implant Infections

When the dental implant is infected, the implant can feel wobbly. The gums around the implant can turn red and puffy. Patients will often suffer from bad breath and will have an unpleasant taste in their mouths. Any patients who experience these symptoms should bring them up with their implant dentist immediately.

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