Implant therapy is now a standard part of care offered to patients and
- 1 hr1 hour
- Corlett Drive
Implant therapy is now a standard part of care offered to patients and therefore, an increased need for proper professional maintenance of these implants is required. As a part of the routine evaluation, it is crucial to assess the condition of implant fixtures and restorations, and to provide the appropriate maintenance. Failure in maintaining effective plaque control and compliance with regular professional maintenance appointments may lead to implant failure and subsequent loss of the implant supported restoration. Evaluation procedures A general examination includes; assessment of self-performed plaque control, assessment of the stability of the restoration and implant, and assessment of the character and presentation of the peri-implant soft tissues. Gentle periodontal probing is used to check for evidence of disease including any areas that show evidence of purulence. Radiographic assessments are carried out to monitor crestal bone levels. Areas of radiolucency around an implant fixture beyond the expected bone loss due to remodelling after seating of the implant restoration are of concern, and may require further intervention. Maintenance procedures Special dental prophylaxis instruments are used to scale around implant fixtures and restorations. Upmost care is taken not to scratch or damage the titanium fixtures and abutments. Polishing is performed using a standard rubber cup, and fine prophy paste. Implant emergency procedures The most common implant emergency is a loose screw. This is a true emergency, as rotation of the restoration can cause damage to the fixture. If the screw is fractured, it will be necessary to carefully tease out the fractured portion of the screw and if a new screw is available, replace the screw. Radiograph verification is required to ensure that the restoration is fully seated, and tighten to the appropriate torque. Failing implants Clinical findings of concern would include soft tissue swelling, bleeding and tenderness on probing, purulence, and tenderness on percussion. The presence of these findings is an indication that the implant may be ailing or failing. A radiographic finding of significant bone loss may characterize a failing implant. Mobility of the implant fixture is an indication of a failed implant, and the implant has to be removed.
Melrose Medical and Dental Centre, Corlett Drive, Melrose North, Johannesburg, South Africa
011 442 4179