Hi; I had two implants put in to replace 2 teeth that had abscessed and the root canals had failed as well. They are the back two molars on the lower left side of my jaw. The implants were put in 5 years ago. There was a small infection on the back one – that was cleared up – this was before the crowns were put on.
Everything was fine, crowns were put on and 6 months later the front crown came loose and there was a slight infection. The dentist gave me antibiotics and replaced the crown. Things were fine for another 4 months, then the gum on the outside of the front implant got very sensitive, pale and mushy. He had me take antibiotics and told me to wait and see.
It got worse and I went back to the oral surgeon. He had my dentist take the crown off, then the oral surgeon cleaned out the area. The implant was able to be saved, but needed a bone graft. It took 7 months to heal. My dentist decided to change to one crown that would go on both implants, hoping to avoid the issue of looseness. He put the crown on and things were fine for about 8 months. Now the same implant is getting infected again. There is pus coming out from under it and there are white “spots” on the outside of the gum that are also pockets of pus. The dentist blames me – says I must be doing something wrong, the oral surgeon blames the dentist. Believe me – I floss; then water pick, sometimes with Peridex; then brush; then antibacterial mouth wash and finish with an proxy brush dipped in Peridex in the area. The surgeries cost me thousands. I’m tired of the blame-game. I’m looking for a solution, an idea, some action to take. The oral surgeon is reluctant to take the implant out – he is the only oral surgeon in the area (I live on the island of Kauai). I don’t know of any good surgeons in Honolulu – they all claim to be expert. I don’t know if you know of anyone out this way or have any suggestions…..
Thanks for your time.
- Nicole from Hawaii
I don’t know what exactly to make of your situation – I can’t tell what is wrong – but I can be helpful.
Implant dentistry is a very unregulated field, and there are dentists doing implant work who quite frankly don’t know what they are doing well enough.
You had a dental implant failure. The implants became loose and were infected. Generally, when that happens, the implant needs to be removed, the area needs to heal, and possibly the bone needs to be bulked up with a bone graft. But only after it heals should a new implant be placed. The idea that your dentist would prescribe antibiotics for a failing, infected dental implant suggests to me that he doesn’t know what he is doing. Maybe I’m missing something, so forgive me, but at least from what you are telling me, something is very wrong here.
After this team has failed twice on this same project, I would definitely say it is time to try someone else.
What I would do to find an excellent implant dentist would be to go to the website of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, or the website of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. They award fellowship and diplomate status to dentists with strong expertise in implant dentistry. You can search their websites to find these dentists with these credentials, and they should be able to help you. Dr. Thein has achieved the highest level credential in both organizations as a way to assure his patients that he knows the field of implant dentistry.
This blog sponsored by La Crescenta implant dentist Dr. Robert Thein