Management of Peri-Implant Diseases

Peri-implant diseases are a group of inflammatory conditions that typically affect the gum tissues surrounding dental implants. These conditions occur when bacteria builds up at the base of the implant below the gum line, causing inflammation and damage to the tissue. The diseases can also cause the bone underneath the implant to deteriorate if not treated in time.

There are two types of peri-implant diseases: peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis. When peri-implant mucositis occurs, there is inflammation of the gums around the soft tissues of the dental implant. This condition can lead to peri-implantitis, but if caught early enough, it can be treated very successfully.

Peri-implantitis, on the other hand, occurs when inflammation of the gums occurs around the soft tissue to the extent to which the bone supporting the implant begins to deteriorate. At this stage, surgery is often required.

Some common symptoms of peri-implant disease include red or sensitive gums around the implants and bleeding when brushing. Previous periodontal disease as well as poor plaque control, smoking and diabetes can also contribute to an increased risk of developing a peri-implant disease.

Treatment of these diseases depends on the type of condition, as well as the extent of the damage.


Dr Geoff Patterson completed his dental training at the University of Pretoria in 2007. After spending a few years in general practice he completed his masters degree in Oral Medicine and Periodontics at the University of Pretoria, which he completed with distinction (cum laude).

Read more about Dr Patterson and his team.


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