dental implantThere are plenty of reasons to be concerned about dental implants, not the least of which is that implants are often placed in diseased tissue. After all, most extractions happen due to severe gum disease or deep decay. That doesn’t just go away with a tooth once it’s taken out. One result is what’s come to be called “peri-implantitis” – gum disease-like inflammation and bone loss around a failing implant.

Studies have suggested that one third of patients will be infected. “We’re sitting on a time bomb,” says Dr Stephen Jacobs, a past president of the Association of Dental Implantology and well-respected implant surgeon. “We are going to be seeing more and more cases.”

And currently, there’s no standard of treatment, although mechanical cleaning of the sites affected is often a first step. But this can bring its own problems, according to research just published in Scientific Reports, particularly with titanium implants, which make up the vast majority of protheses placed today.

“In our study, [ultrasonic] scaling of Ti surfaces induced the release of particles that stimulated the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines,” the authors wrote. “An increase in the expression of IL1β, IL6, and TNFα, among other cytokines, was accompanied by an increase in osteoclast formation and activity, which was either directly or indirectly induced via a paracrine effect on neighboring cells (e.g., osteoblasts). These cytokines have been repeatedly shown to trigger and/or amplify inflammation-induced bone loss.”

In other words, scaling released metal. Those particles “exponentially increased” inflammation, triggering bone loss – loss that “is unlikely to be reversible,” note the authors.

A bad situation gets worse.

And that’s only looking at the short-term consequences. What are the long-term effects of having that metal released into the body? We know from earlier reports that toxicity is a real concern.

But as we noted before, this doesn’t necessarily indicate a rush to remove them.

Instead, have an integrative dentist or physician trained in German biological medicine evaluate your situation. Biological terrain analysis (BTA), EAV and other assessment tools can give insight to burden the implants may be placing on the body. If they are having a negative effect, we can work with you to develop a safe, sensible and secure route to healing.

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Image by Dan Klimke, via Flickr

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