Postoperative Infections After Dental Implant Placement: Prevalence, Clinical Features, and Treatment

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To determine the prevalence and describe the clinical features and treatment of patients with early infections after implant placement.

Materials and Methods:

A retrospective cohort study was performed. Postoperative infections were defined as the presence of purulent drainage and/or increasing pain and swelling in the operated area before prosthetic loading. Patient-based infection prevalences and 95% confidence intervals for implant were determined. Patients who healed, were followed up to determine implant survival and success rates.


Three hundred thirty-seven participants (1273 implants) were included. Twenty-two postoperative infections were recorded (6.5% of the patients and 1.7% of the implants). These complications were usually diagnosed within the first month, and in 17 cases (77.3%) surgical treatment was performed because of antibiotic therapy failure. Twelve implants (54.6%) in 12 patients (54.6%) failed before prosthetic loading. The survival and success rates of the infected loaded implants were 80% and 50%, respectively, with a mean follow-up of 42.9 months (SD of 10.2 months).


Four to 10% of patients receiving dental implants develop postoperative infections. This complication is important because applied treatments are usually ineffective and two-thirds of the infected implants fail, most before prosthetic loading.

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