What Are the Risks of Dental Implants?

Dental implants can give you back your confidence with a bright, new smile. While this procedure is considered one of the safest, there are always risks to consider.

From implant failure to bone loss, to gum recession and sinus issues, make sure you understand the risks of dental implants. Fortunately, an experienced dentist will know how to mitigate potential dental implant problems. However, it’s up to you to be honest about any pre-existing conditions while adhering to your dentist’s instructions throughout the process. Understanding the risks and complications of dental implants is important to the success of the surgery.

What Are the Negative Effects of Dental Implants?

Possible Implant Failure
dental x-ray showing possible risksWithin the first couple of weeks after the surgery, it’s possible that the implants won’t integrate with your jaw bone. This happens when there isn’t enough stability within the bone in the first place. Implants need to grow and fuse with the existing bone to support them. Antibiotics are usually given before the procedure to lessen this risk.

Sometimes during this procedure, nearby anatomic areas might get injured. At-risk areas include nerves, gums, roof and base of the mouth, and the maxillary sinus cavity. If any of these are punctured, pain and infection could result.

With any procedure, there’s always a risk for infection. In dental implant surgery abscesses, inflammation wound festering, and fistula formation can occur. Be aware that systemic infection, covering wider areas of the body, is also a possibility.

Bone Loss
Bone loss at the site of the dental implant decreases its stability and requires the help of your dentist to prevent complete implant failure. Black triangles can also appear between teeth when there’s bone loss, making it harder to maintain good hygiene while also reducing the look and feel of teeth.

Implant Breakage
If the dental implant screw fractures or breaks, it’s not an easy fix. However, sometimes it can be saved with the removal and replacement of the screw, though there’s the risk that the bone isn’t strong enough to support the new implant. If the abutment or crown gets damaged, this is relatively simple to fix and replace since it’s more about aesthetics than bone fusion.

Other Dangers of Dental Implants Include:

  • Sinus issues if the sinus cavity gets punctured during the procedure.
  • Bleeding and failure to heal.
  • Nerve damage in the surrounding tissues that leads to numbness and pain.
  • Tissue death around the dental implant.
  • Gum recession around the dental implant.

Factors Affecting the Success of Dental Implants

People with the following conditions are at an increased risk of implant complications:

Tooth Decay
People who let their teeth decay need to step up their oral hygiene habits to better ensure dental implant success. Make sure you develop a daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing plan before and after dental implants.

Periodontal Disease
Infected gums cannot properly hold existing teeth or dental implants in place.

Diabetes that isn’t well taken care of is a risk factor when considering dental implants since it could slow down the healing process or prevent integration.

Insufficient Jaw Bone
If the jaw bone isn’t strong or thick enough, the dental implant will not be supported. However, there are bone grafting techniques that help strengthen the bone.

Smoking inhibits healing and limits the chances of implant integration. It’s best to quit smoking at least six months ahead of the implant procedure.

How Safe are Dental Implants?

Dental implant surgery is one of the safest dental surgeries out there. Over the past ten years, the dental implant success rate has been between 90-95%. Those are pretty good odds, especially if you follow your dentist’s instructions before and after the procedure.

Just because this is one of the safest dental procedures, doesn’t mean you can be carefree and keep your old bad habits. Make sure you don’t smoke or grind your teeth during the healing process, which could lead to implant failure, implant wear, and infection. Diligent dental implant maintenance will make all the difference!

If you have questions about the risks of dental implants or if you’re a candidate, contact us today. Our team will be happy to assist you.

Posted In: Dental Implants