At times, dental implants are placed into sites with a history of periapical pathology. Sometimes the infection is active, and other times the tooth may have been extracted years before implant placement. In either case, the possibility exists for long-term residual cysts or infections that can negatively impact the prognosis of the implant. In this case report, an implant is placed into a healed mandibular ridge several months after extraction of the tooth. A radiolucency was noted on routine radiographic examination 2 years later. Surgical inspection and histology revealed a periapical granuloma with acute and chronic inflammatory cells. After surgical curettage of the site, the patient healed without complication. Implants may develop apical pathology as a result of a preexisting long-term residual infection.
*Professor, Department of General Dental Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry, Birmingham, AL. †Assistant Professor, Department of Prosthodontics, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry, Birmingham, AL. ‡Associate Professor, Department of Pathology and Medicine, University of Pacific in San Francisco, San Francisco, CA. §Professor, Department of Endodontics, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry, Birmingham, AL.
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