Enterococcus faecalisand Dental Implants

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Enterococcus faecalis appears in many tooth root infections and is not eliminated by root canal therapy. It can reside in tooth root canals and the surrounding bone. This species may vegetate in bone after extraction of an infected tooth and colonize a dental implant after placement in the healed site. A colonization may cause fixture loss or marginal bone loss. These colonizations are generally multibacterial and pathogenic properties can be shared via plasmids. However, E faecalis is not detectable with some culture techniques and thus can be missed. It is usually not a dominant species in these infections. Nonetheless, E faecalis may be a “keystone” player in dental implant bone loss or peri-implantitis. That is, E faecalis may be the pathogenic determinant for any particular peri-implantitis infection of a multiple-species infection.

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