If you are having a tooth extracted because of an infection in or around it, you may wonder whether the infection may jeopardize your dental implant. New research indicates that dental implants can be safe even at infected sites.

Badly Infected Teeth Studied

Researchers working at two universities in Spain and one in the UK conducted a three-year long study of dental implants placed either in infected sites or sites without infection. They used 18 individuals  all of whom needed two teeth extracted, one from an infected site and one from a site without infection. The infection site was shown to have a periapical lesion, when infection has spread from a tooth into the jawbone. Normally, a root canal is used to prevent the spread of this type of infection, but in the case of these people the infection had spread too much to be treated with a root canal and required extraction.

Infection Prevention

dreamstime_s_18060045In order to control the infection at the surgical sites, the teeth to be removed received gum disease treatment (scaling and planing) a month before extraction and patients received antibiotics to stop periodontal infection. Four days before surgery, patients were put on preventive antibiotics. Patients received anesthesia for the extraction and dental implant placement. Patients received a prescription for  chlorhexidine rinses after surgery.

Abutments were placed three months later, when the implants were shown to have fully integrated into the bone at all sites. Provisional crowns were placed with the abutments, and final crowns were placed six weeks later.

Dental Implant Success

Follow-ups were conducted at 12, 24, and 36 months. Researchers found that dental implants placed at both the infected site and the uninfected site had a high success rate. The implants placed in the uninfected site had a 100% success rate through the full three year follow-up, and the implants placed in infected sites were almost as good. One implant failed soon before the 36-month follow-up–attributed to poor compliance with hygiene protocols–for a 94% success rate.

This study reminds us that almost everyone is a good candidate for dental implants, even if you are having a badly infected tooth extracted.

Want to learn whether you’re a candidate for dental implants in Beverly Hills? Please call 310-275-5325 for an appointment with an implant dentist to be evaluated.