Advanced Laser Treatment to Save Failing Implants
Placing dental implants is Dr. Aldredge's first choice to replace missing teeth and restore a healthy, functional smile.
Saving failed dental implants is a personal mission.
When patients come to our practice with symptoms of failing dental implants — loose implants, gum irritation or discharge at the implant site — Dr. Aldredge treats them using an advanced laser procedure called the LAPIP™ protocol.
LAPIP (Laser-Assisted Peri-Implantitis Protocol) was created to treat peri-implantitis, a condition created by a bacterial infection between the implant surface and gum tissue. Similar to periodontal disease, peri-implantitis destroys gum and bone tissue. Left untreated, bone loss from peri-implantitis eventually leads the loss of the dental implant.
Just as Dr. Aldredge uses the LANAP® laser procedure to treat periodontal disease, he uses the LAPIP procedure to treat peri-implantitis. Here's how it works:
- A laser fiber about the width of three human hairs vaporizes infected tissue without damaging healthy tissue nearby, and without disturbing the implant.
- The LAPIP procedure stimulates new gum and bone growth.
- The new bone attaches to the implant, once again securing it in place. The regrown gums cover the implant as originally intended.
- With stability restored, the dental implant will provide a strong foundation for a fully functioning crown, bridge or denture.
The Benefits of LAPIP
Like LANAP, LAPIP is a minimally invasive procedure with many patient benefits.
- No scalpel, no cutting, no sutures
- Less swelling, less discomfort
- One-visit procedure
- Faster healing time
While we evaluate each patient's individual comfort level, we're please to report that our patients usually require only an over-the-counter pain reliever following a LAPIP procedure.
Why Do Dental Implants Fail?
Dental implants can fail for a number of reasons, from improper placement of the implant to poor dental hygiene. When the outcome is per-implantitis, the implant is at risk. Caught early, the infection can easily be treated before it causes structural damage. Undiagnosed, the infection will cause more inflammation or bleeding, destroy gums, and dissolve bone. It is vital to remember that dental implants must be cared for in the same way as natural teeth, with daily brushing, flossing and routine visits so we can be sure they're healthy.
Common Causes of Peri-Implantitis
- Previous periodontal disease
- Poor oral hygiene
- Poor implant placement
- Red, tender gums around the implants
- Painful swelling
- Bleeding when brushing
- Change in gum color
- Discharge at the implant site
- Visible implant
- Loose implant