Photothermal nanoparticles locally release heat when irradiated by near-infrared (NIR). Clinical applications initially involved tumor treatment, but currently extend toward bacterial infection control. Applications toward much smaller, micrometer-sized bacterial infections, however, bear the risk of collateral damage by dissipating heat into tissues surrounding an infection site. This can become a complication when photothermal nanoparticle coatings are clinically applied on biomaterial surfaces requiring tissue integration, such as titanium-made, bone-Anchored dental implants. Dental implants can fail due to infection in the pocket formed between the implant screw and the surrounding soft tissue ("peri-implantitis"). We address the hitherto neglected potential complication of collateral tissue damage by evaluating photothermal, polydopamine nanoparticle (PDA-NP) coatings on titanium surfaces in different coculture models. NIR irradiation of PDA-NP-coated (200 μg/cm2) titanium surfaces with adhering Staphylococcus aureus killed staphylococci within an irradiation time window of around 3 min. Alternatively, when covered with human gingival fibroblasts, this irradiation time window maintained surface coverage by fibroblasts. Contaminating staphylococci on PDA-NP-coated titanium surfaces, as can be per-operatively introduced, reduced surface coverage by fibroblasts, and this could be prevented by NIR irradiation for 5 min or longer prior to allowing fibroblasts to adhere and grow. Negative impacts of early postoperative staphylococcal challenges to an existing fibroblast layer covering a coated surface were maximally prevented by 3 min NIR irradiation. Longer irradiation times caused collateral fibroblast damage. Late postoperative staphylococcal challenges to a protective keratinocyte layer covering a fibroblast layer required 10 min NIR irradiation for adverting a staphylococcal challenge. This is longer than foreseen from monoculture studies because of additional heat uptake by the keratinocyte layer. Summarizing, photothermal treatment of biomaterial-Associated infection requires precise timing of NIR irradiation to prevent collateral damage to tissues surrounding the infection site.