NOA Dental Clinic

Infections and Dental Implants

Infections and dental implants go hand in hand when it comes to dental health. While dental implants herald a revolution in restorative dentistry, their potential vulnerability to infections cannot be overlooked. 

This guide explains the relationship between dental implants and infections, emphasising the critical aspects of risk factors and preventive measures.

What Are The Common Causes Of Infections After Dental Implants? 

Infections after dental implants in Dubai often arise due to bacteria entering the implant site during or after surgery. Some common contributors of potential infections can be contamination, poor oral hygiene, or pre-existing dental conditions.




Bacterial Contamination

Bacteria introduced during surgery

Sterile surgical environment

Poor Oral Hygiene

Inadequate cleaning of mouth

Regular brushing & flossing

Compromised Immune System

Weakened body defences

Maintain general health

Pre-existing Conditions

Gum diseases predisposing to infections

Address before implant surgery

Improper Implant Placement

Incorrect positioning can trap bacteria

Experienced dentist placement

Tobacco Use

It hampers healing and invites bacteria

Avoid tobacco

This table provides a quick overview of the common causes of dental implant infections, their explanations, prevention methods, and the severity of their risks.

How Can Infections Impact The Success Of Dental Implants?

Infections can compromise the osseointegration process, where the implant fuses with the jawbone, potentially leading to implant failure.

  • Disruption of Osseointegration: An infected site can prevent the implant from securely bonding with the jawbone.
  • Bone Loss: Infections can lead to bone deterioration around the implant.
  • Implant Mobility: An infected implant might become loose over time.
  • Prolonged Healing: Healing duration can extend due to infections.
  • Implant Failure: Severe infections can result in the complete failure of the dental implant.
  • Additional Surgical Interventions: Infected implants often require more surgical treatments.

What Are The Early Signs Of An Infection Around A Dental Implant? 

Early signs of an infection after a dental implant include redness, swelling at the implant site, pain or discomfort, pus discharge, and a bad taste or odour in the mouth. If you experience any of these symptoms, immediately consult your dentist to ensure prompt treatment and prevent further complications.



Immediate Action

Redness & Swelling

Inflammation around the implant

Consult dentist

Pain or Discomfort

Sensitivity around the area

Monitor & seek medical advice

Pus Discharge

Indicative of bacterial presence

Begin antibiotic treatment

Bad Taste or Odor

Possible infection or decay

Oral cleaning & check-up


Body’s response to fight infection

Seek medical attention

Difficulty in Chewing

Tenderness when pressure is applied

Check implant positioning

The table above showcases the early signs of a potential infection around a dental implant, explains their significance, and suggests immediate action.

How Often Do Dental Implants Get Infected?

While dental implants boast a high success rate, infections can occur in a minority of cases, typically due to poor oral hygiene or surgical contamination.

  • Dental implants have a very low infection rate, typically between 4% and 10% for postoperative infection.
  • The infection rate is higher for certain types of implants, such as zygomatic implants and transmandibular implants.
  • The infection rate is also higher for patients with certain health conditions, such as diabetes and smoking.
  • Early detection and treatment of infection is important to prevent further damage to the implant and surrounding tissues.

Can An Infected Dental Implant Be Saved? 

Yes, with timely intervention and treatment, many infected dental implants can be saved, although severe cases might require removal.



Success Rate


Early Detection

Identifying symptoms early on

High with timely action


Antibiotic Treatment

Combatting bacterial infections

Moderate to High

Days to Weeks

Deep Cleaning

Professional cleaning around the implant


Immediate to Days

Surgical Intervention

Procedures to address severe infections


Weeks to Months

Implant Removal

In case of irreversible damage

N/A (implant is removed)

As needed

This table presents the various treatments for infected dental implants, giving a brief description, their success rates, and the expected timeframe for action or recovery.

How Does Oral Hygiene Play A Role In Preventing Implant Infections? 

Good oral hygiene eliminates bacterial buildup, which prevents infections and ensures dental implants’ longevity.

Here are some tips for maintaining good oral hygiene around dental implants:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss your teeth once a day.
  • Use a mouthwash specifically designed for dental implants.
  • See your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.

Are There Specific Types Of Bacteria Responsible For Dental Implant Infections? 

Here are some specific types of bacteria that are responsible for dental implant infections:

  • Actinomyces: This type of bacteria is found in the mouth and throat. It can cause infections of the gums, jawbone, and other tissues around dental implants.
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis: This bacteria is a major cause of gum disease and periodontitis. It can also cause infections of dental implants.
  • Prevotella intermedia: This type of bacteria is often found in dental plaque. It can cause infections of the gums, jawbone, and other tissues around dental implants.
  • Fusobacterium nucleatum: This bacteria is found in the mouth and gut. It can cause infections of the gums, jawbone, and other tissues around dental implants.
  • Streptococcus mutans: This bacteria is a significant cause of tooth decay. It can also cause infections of dental implants.

What Treatments Are Available For Infections Around Dental Implants? 

Treatments include antibiotic prescriptions, improved oral hygiene practices, deep cleaning around the implant, and, in severe cases, surgical interventions.

Treatment Option





Address bacterial infections

Days to weeks

High with early detection


Smoothen implant surfaces to deter bacterial colonisation

Single session

Moderate to high

Laser Therapy

Reducing inflammation and bacterial count

Multiple sessions

Effective with early infections

Surgical Debridement

Remove infected tissues around the implant

Single session

Moderate to high

Implant Removal

In cases of severe, unresolvable infections

As needed

N/A (implant is removed)

Regenerative Procedures

Rebuilding bone or gum tissue lost to infection

Multiple sessions

Varies based on severity

This table introduces treatments available for addressing infections around dental implants, detailing their specific purpose, typical duration, and effectiveness.

How Long After Getting A Dental Implant Can Infections Occur? 

Infections can occur shortly after the surgery or even years later. However, immediate post-operative infections are more common.


Risk Level


Preventive Steps

Immediate (0-2 weeks)


Surgical contamination

Sterile surgical environment

Short-term (2 weeks – 3 months)


Poor post-operative care

Follow aftercare instructions

Medium-term (3-12 months)

Low to moderate

Delayed healing or foreign body reaction

Regular check-ups

Long-term (1 year+)


Poor long-term oral hygiene

Consistent oral hygiene routine

The table represents the infection risks at different times post-dental implant surgery, specifies common causes for each period, and recommends preventive measures.

What Role Does The Quality Of The Dental Implant Play In Infection Risks? 

High-quality dental implants made from biocompatible materials reduce the risk of infections and promote better integration with the bone.

  • Biocompatible Materials: These reduce the chances of infections and allergic reactions.
  • Quality Manufacturing: Premium implants have smoother surfaces, reducing bacterial adhesion.
  • Professional Placement: Proper placement by an experienced dentist minimises risks.
  • Longevity: High-quality implants tend to last longer and face fewer complications.

Can Infections Spread From Natural Teeth To Dental Implants? 

Yes, infections from natural teeth, significantly if they’re affected by periodontal disease, can spread to neighbouring dental implants.

  • Periodontal Disease: This is a primary concern for implant infections.
  • Proximity Matters: Implants close to infected natural teeth are at a higher risk.
  • Bacterial Migration: Bacteria can move from natural teeth to implants.
  • Regular Dental Cleaning: This can prevent the spread of infections.
  • Awareness of Oral Health: Understanding one’s dental health can prevent complications.

Being proactive is the key to understanding the dynamic between infections and dental implants. With the right precautions, the effectiveness of dental implants can be upheld, affirming their long-term advantages.

For personalized guidance on dental implants, schedule a consultation with NOA Dental Clinic Dubai. Your oral health deserves expert attention.

Frequently Asked Questions About Infections and Dental Implants

What's the role of implant quality in infection risk?

High-quality implants reduce infection risk due to superior materials and fit.

How are dental implant infections treated?

Treatments range from antibiotics to surgical interventions, depending on the severity.

Are infected dental implants permanently removed?

Not always; early detection and treatment can save the implant in many cases.

How can I detect an implant infection early on?

Look for signs like redness, swelling, discomfort, or unusual discharge around the implant.

How vital are regular dental check-ups post-implant surgery?

Crucial, as they allow early detection and address potential complications.