Simplifying, recognising and managing peri-implantitis
In recent years, dental implants have fast become one of the most popular treatments for patients. This is of little surprise when you consider that these innovations are long-lasting, restore function and can make a huge improvement to patients’ quality of life. However, dental implants are not faultless and do have their complications, and one of these is the potential development of peri-implantitis.
But what is the disease? Do dental hygienists and dental therapists know how to recognise the symptoms, and what steps to take next?
Dr Alif Moosajee aims to tackle this topic with his session at the BSDHT Oral Health Conference 2019 (OHC).
Simplifying the disease
Peri-implantitis has undoubtedly earned a reputation among dental professionals as being a difficult condition to manage. Due to the relative novelty of dental implants, there is still a large percentage of dental professionals who may not have come into contact with the disease. However, as more and more people seek this type of treatment, it’s likely that recognising and treating peri-implantitis will become a necessity, so being able to understand the disease is essential.
Dr Alif Moosajee says:
“Peri-implantitis is still widely misunderstood by a large number of individuals in the dental profession. In the first part of my session at the OHC I want to concentrate on simplifying the disease for everyone attending, so that they can understand the disease better and not believe any misinformation they’ve heard. I think this will be very helpful, as a lot of current treatment for peri-implantitis is very complicated and not thought out properly. Sometimes the best treatment for the disease is simple and we can only make people realise this by showing that the condition itself is not as complicated and daunting as it first may seem.”
What to look out for
As with treating any oral pathology, the first step towards beating peri-implantitis for patients is recognising the symptoms of the condition and looking for those tell-tale signs that make early detection and treatment possible.
Dr Alif continues:
“The second part of my session will concentrate on how to recognise signs of peri-implantitis. The disease manifests in a number of different ways, and I want dental hygienists and dental therapists to be aware of these signs so that they can take action as soon as possible. Early detection makes treatment so much easier, and if we’re all on the same page there’s a much better chance that the patient can get the treatment they need, and that the implant may be saved or far more easily treated.”
The different ways of treatment
Treating peri-implantitis can be difficult as there are many ways that the infection can manifest and affect the implant. Smaller infections are obviously going to be easier to treat, however, it’s important for all members of the dental team to understand the available options for treatment so that they can choose methods that will have the greatest impact.
“I want those attending my talk to know that they always have options,” continues Dr Moosajee. “Once we’ve reduced peri-implantitis to the simple disease that it is, treatment can also become simpler as we won’t feel the need to overcomplicate it unnecessarily. Although there will be examples of severe cases that will require complex treatment, some cases might just require better patient knowledge and maintenance – keeping implants clean is a priority.”
Find out more at the OHC 2019
Dr Alif Mohaasan’s lecture is just one of many sessions taking place at the OHC 2019. The BSDHT has pieced together a fascinating itinerary of educational seminars that enable everyone attending to focus on areas that really interest them or which they think will best benefit them in their careers.
When asked about his upcoming session at the OHC, Dr Moosajee responded:
“Dental hygienists and dental therapists are completely indispensable when it comes to the maintenance of dental implants. I’m always absolutely thrilled whenever I give a talk to professionals in these roles as they continually impress me with their knowledge and in-depth understanding of the latest topics. I can’t wait to have this interaction again!
“I also think dental hygienists and dental therapists are criminally under utilised in the industry. In my practice they are such a fantastic asset and sharing clinical responsibilities has definitely benefitted my patients hugely. This is something I want to champion going forward, and my time at the OHC is a good platform to make this clear.”
You can find out more about the OHC and register your place by visiting the BSDHT website: http://www.bsdht.org.uk/OHC2019
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