Dental implants have gained a reputation as a highly successful method for replacing missing teeth, with a success rate of around 98%. However, like any surgical procedure, they come with potential risks and complications. While these are relatively rare and usually minor, it’s crucial to understand them when considering dental implants. This article will detail the potential risks and complications associated with dental implant procedures.
Infection at the Implant Site
One of the most common complications following dental implant surgery is infection, known as peri-implantitis. It’s usually caused by poor oral hygiene following the surgery and can lead to bone loss around the implant and failure of the implant if not treated promptly.
Although rare, nerve damage can occur during a dental implant procedure, especially if the implant is placed too close to a nerve. This can result in pain, numbness, or tingling in your natural teeth, gums, lips, or chin.
For implants in the upper jaw, there is a risk of protrusion into one of your sinus cavities if there isn’t enough bone to accommodate the implant. This could lead to sinus problems, which may require additional treatments.
While dental implants have a high success rate, they can sometimes fail. Implant failure can occur for various reasons, including poor oral hygiene, excessive biting forces, lack of healthy bone, or the implant not being properly positioned. Smoking can also contribute significantly to implant failure.
Certain factors can delay the healing process after dental implant surgery. These include existing health conditions such as diabetes, immunosuppressive conditions, and smoking. A delayed healing process can increase the risk of infection and implant failure.
Dental Implant Overloading
This is a condition where too much pressure is applied to the dental implant, either during the procedure or when the final crown is fitted. This can lead to implant failure and is generally preventable with careful treatment planning.
While the risks associated with dental implants are real, they are relatively rare and most often easily treatable. The success rate of dental implants is high, and they have proven to be a reliable and effective solution for tooth replacement. It’s essential to follow all aftercare instructions and maintain good oral hygiene habits to reduce the risk of complications. Your dental professional will discuss these potential risks with you before the procedure to ensure you can make an informed decision. If you notice anything unusual after your implant surgery, such as prolonged pain, swelling, or the implant feeling loose, contact your dentist immediately. In the next article, we will cover Dental Implant Aftercare and Maintenance.