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The impact of poor oral hygiene on implants

18 December 2015

The impact of poor oral hygiene on implants

From as early as 600 A.D, when Mayans used pieces of shells as dental implants to replace mandibular teeth, civilisations have been creating solutions to tooth loss.[i] Thanks to technological advancements and the introduction of the titanium implant, as many as 10,000 mandibular dental implant procedures are now carried out in the UK each year.[ii]

Though implants are only indicated when other treatment options are unsuitable, or when a tooth or several teeth have a hopeless prognosis, they offer a range of benefits. In some ways, dental implants could be seen as the next best thing to healthy, natural teeth. Unlike other treatment options, which can lead to bone deterioration, implants are known to prevent bone loss and even stimulate bone growth. As they even ensure that the healthy, adjacent teeth don't shift – which they would if an empty space was left for an extended period of time – implants are designed to work in harmony with natural teeth. 

With the capability of becoming diseased like natural teeth, however, dental implants can be a problem if they are not looked after properly. As poor oral hygiene can still cause plaque and bacteria to build-up on implants, peri-implant mucositis is a realistic and potential issue. While at that stage it does not cause bone loss, if no action is taken, the more serious problem of peri-implantitis is likely to develop.

As studies show, the number of patients and implants affected by peri-implant diseases is increasing.[iii] Although there are factors that should be taken into consideration when examining prevalence figures – such as disease definition, the chosen thresholds for probing depths and bone loss, differences in treatment methods and aftercare of patients – it is smoking and a history of periodontitis that have been associated with a higher prevalence of peri-implantitis.[iv]

As a result, prevention is considered to be the best course of action. By encouraging patients to maintain good oral health and lead a healthy lifestyle, symptoms of peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis can be minimised.

For information on quality implant care products available, such as the specially designed Prime Perio range of interdental brushes and Curasept Implant mouthwash, contact the leading oral healthcare specialist Curaprox today.

For more information please call 01480 862084, email
or visit


[i] Abraham C M. A Brief Historical Perspective of Dental Implants, Their Surface Coatings and Treatments. Open Dent J. 2014; 8: 50–55. Accessed online October 2015

[ii] Kings College London 2012, Incidence of injury of the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) has increased as a result of a rise in dental implant surgery over recent years. Accessed online October 2015

[iii] Jepsen SBerglundh TGenco RAass A MDemirel KDerks JFiguero EGiovannoli J LGoldstein MLambert FOrtiz-Vigon APolyzois ISalvi GE,Schwarz FSerino GTomasi CZitzmann N U. Primary prevention of peri-implantitis: managing peri-implant mucositis. J Clin Periodontol. 2015 Apr; 42 Suppl 16:S152-7. doi: 10.1111/jcpe.12369. Accesed online October 2015

[iv] Mombelli A, Müller N, Cionca N. The epidemiology of peri-implantitis. Clin Oral Implants Res. 2012 Oct; 23 Suppl 6:67-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0501.2012.02541.x. Accessed online October 2015


About the author:

Following his degree in biochemistry, Howard Thomas's early career was in the pharmaceutical industry, where he worked for a number of the large multinationals before becoming was CEO of Merck for 11 years.

After leaving Merck, Howard set up his own company Britannia Health Products. Britannia Health Products developed and launched the world’s first Evening Primrose Oil product (Efamol), which became market leader and really established the market for health supplements.

Subsequently, Howard introduced Imedeen, a natural product for preventing wrinkles and damage to the skin caused by free radicals and ultra violet light which received tremendous press coverage as a breakthrough in the prevention of premature skin ageing when it was launched.

Since1980, Howard has worked with many research groups developing “natural remedies” and has been involved with many health-related organizations.  He set up his own nutritional supplement companies for the human and veterinary markets and also has been director of a number of biotechnology start-up companies in the Cambridge area.

Until recently, his principle activity was as Chairman of Life Plus Europe, a successful multi-level marketing company supplying nutritional products on a personal import basis throughout Europe.  In January 2001, he sold that business to the US affiliate and is now taking a much more active role in the management and product development of Oraldent Ltd.

Howard is focusing on developing a range of natural products for the dental market. The dental market in terms of product development has been neglected by companies, yet over 90% of the population has some form of gum disease and suffer form minor to severe discomfort.



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