EFP publishes guideline on prevention and treatment of peri-implant diseases


The EFP (European Federation of Periodontology) has announced a new guideline aimed at helping oral health professionals around the world to better prevent and treat peri-implant diseases among their patients. Based on the latest scientific evidence, this guideline offers a set of recommendations to maintain the health of peri-implant tissues and to effectively manage peri-implant diseases.

Peri-implant diseases, although less familiar to the public than gingivitis and periodontitis, which affect the gums surrounding natural teeth, pose a significant health concern due to their high prevalence and associated consequences. These diseases impact both the mucosa and the supporting bone around dental implants, and can lead to costly outcomes, including implant and implant-supported prothesis loss.

This S3-level clinical practice guideline, the highest according to scientific standards, is the outcome of Perio Workshop 2022, a meeting of leading experts and stakeholders organised by the EFP last November. After months of work, including a rigorous synthesis of evidence in 13 specially commissioned systematic reviews, and a comprehensive consensus process, the paper “Prevention and treatment of peri-implant diseases – the EFP S3-level clinical practice guideline”, authored by Prof David Herrera et al., was published in the EFP-edited Journal of Clinical Periodontology (JCP).

Prevention of peri-implant diseases should start as soon as dental implants are initially planned, states the guideline, defining those interventions within “primordial” prevention. Preventive interventions are also recommended when implants are surgically placed, or prosthetically loaded. Once implants are in function, the patient should follow a supportive peri-implant care programme, including periodic assessments of the peri- implant tissue health and oral hygiene instructions. The popular assumption that maintaining hygiene at dental implants is somehow less demanding than around teeth is wrong – in fact the opposite is true The good news is that early detection of peri- implant diseases makes treatment easier, faster and more prone to success.

This guideline follows two similar S3-level clinical practice guidelines the EFP has produced in recent years for a modern, evidence-based management of periodontitis, developed in accordance with the 2018-updated classification of gum diseases, These new-generation guidelines are based on the conclusions of Perio Workshop 2019 on the treatment of stages I-III periodontitis, and Perio Workshop 2021 on the treatment of stage IV periodontitis, and were published in 2020 and 2022, respectively.

!Peri-implant diseases are highly prevalent inflammatory conditions and managing them can be quite challenging,” warns Prof David Herrera, the paper’s leading author. “Our guideline provides oral healthcare professionals with advice for effective management of peri-implant diseases. We authors are really proud to present a pioneering guideline

informing clinical practices, health systems, policymakers, patients, and the general public, on the most effective modalities available to be implemented during the planning, execution and long-term follow-up of tooth replacement with dental implants.” “Following the recommendations will facilitate a consistent, interdisciplinary, and evidence-based approach to the prevention and treatment of peri-implant diseases among all dental professionals,” explains the paper’s co-author Prof Moritz Kebschull”# “The guideline identifies specific interventions demonstrated to be useful, structures them in needs-based care pathways, and examines the current level of scientific support for a variety of widely employed approaches and techniques.”

Understanding peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis

There are two peri-implant diseases: peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis. Peri- implant mucositis refers to a treatable inflammatory lesion affecting the mucosa around the implant. It is primarily caused by accumulation of a peri-implant plaque biofilm, but smoking, diabetes and radiation therapy are considered as risk factors.

If left untreated, peri-implant mucositis may progress into peri-implantitis, a more serious peri-implant biofilm-associated pathological condition affecting not only the peri- implant mucosa but also causing a progressive loss of supporting bone. Its main risk factors are history of periodontitis, poor oral hygiene, and lack of supportive peri-implant care. Peri-implant mucositis is sometimes#assimilated to gingivitis – and the same applies to peri-implantitis and periodontitis. However, compared to periodontal tissues, peri- implant tissues are less efficient in preserving tissue health and controlling the bacterial challenge which is always present around both teeth and dental implants. Thus, peri- implant diseases are more prevalent, develop with an earlier onset, and progress faster, when compared with periodontal diseases.

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