Dental implant surgery has an incredibly high success rate with a negligible risk of complications. For most patients,
This article highlights the risks and complications of dental implants and the factors influencing implant success.
What are the Potential Risks and Complications of Dental Implants?
Infections at the implant site
Like all surgeries, dental implant surgery also carries an inherent risk of infections at the implant site. You can reduce the risk of infections by following the doctor’s advice regarding aftercare. The risk of bacterial infection is generally lower with cemented ceramic implants than screw-retained titanium implants.
Gum Recession around the implant
In some cases, the gum tissues around the implant start receding, leading to inflammation and discomfort. If your gums start receding after the surgery, you must contact the dentist immediately to remove or replace the implant.
After the surgery, it takes around 3 to 6 months for your bone tissues to fuse with the implant via a process called osseointegration. If the implant doesn’t fuse with the bone tissues, you may have a loose implant that must be removed.
Implant-induced Nerve Damage
You may experience implant-induced nerve damage if the implant is placed too close to a nerve, leading to tingling sensations and numbness.
If the artificial tooth (crown or bridge) is attached to the implant too soon, i.e., before the implant-bone fusion is complete, the implant may eventually fail due to the extra stress. If the implant fails, the dentist has to remove it and start the process over again.
Allergic Reactions to Titanium Implants
Some patients develop allergic reactions to titanium implants, leading to swelling, tingling sensations, loss of taste, and other complications. However, zirconia (ceramic) implants carry no risk of allergic reactions because they’re completely metal-free.
Dental implants in the upper jaws can sometimes protrude into the sinus cavities, leading to sinusitis. Patients with sinusitis experience pain, tenderness, swelling, nasal mucus, blocked nose, reduced sense of smell, headaches, bad breath, toothaches, and other problems.
Implant Damage due to Bruxism
Excessive bite force due to bruxism can damage the dental implant, making it crack or loosen. People with bruxism or teeth clenching habits should wear mouthguards to protect the implant and teeth.
Chronic inflammation at the implant site can eventually lead to gum disease and the loss of bone tissues supporting the implant, leading to bleeding and swelling. It takes peri-implantitis about 5 years to progress enough to become noticeable. Titanium implants have a higher risk of peri-implantitis than ceramic implants.
In rare cases, the body rejects the dental implant because of metal sensitivities or because it is seen as a foreign object. Zirconia implants generally have a lower risk of rejection because they don’t contain metallic components.
What are the Signs of Dental Implant Failure & Complications?
Difficulty while chewing
Severe pain at the implant site
Which Factors Influence Dental Implant Success?
Your gums must be completely healthy when you pursue dental implant surgery. An active gum infection can damage the gum and jawbone, leading to implant failure. If you have gum disease, please seek treatment and recover completely before getting a dental implant.
Studies have shown that smoking can increase the dental implant failure rate by 20%. That’s because smoking restricts blood flow to the gums, thereby slowing down the healing process. If you’re a smoker, you should stop smoking at least two weeks before your surgery and avoid smoking until the osseointegration is complete.
Sufficient Jaw Bone
You must have sufficient jawbone to support the implant. If you don’t have sufficient jawbone at the time of surgery, the dentist may recommend bone grafting to facilitate jawbone regeneration before the surgery. However, you can also suffer from dental implant failure later if you develop osteoporosis, a condition that decreases bone density.
The risk of dental implant failure is higher for patients with underlying autoimmune disorders, such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, making your body heal slower and prevents optimal osseointegration.
Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications slow down your body’s healing rate, leading to a higher risk of implant failure. You should disclose all your current medications to your dentist and temporarily stop taking certain nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Studies have shown that certain heartburn medications and antidepressants can slow down bone growth.
You must maintain optimal oral health to prevent dental implant failures. If you don’t clean your teeth thoroughly, you have a higher risk of gum disease and infections, leading to a higher dental implant failure rate.
Skills and Experience of Dental Surgeon
The oral surgeon’s skills and experience also determine the implant’s success. An improperly placed implant can lead to nerve damage, sinus troubles, or other complications. As such, you must find an experienced dental surgeon with a strong track record — someone who’s placed hundreds of implants while maintaining a low implant failure rate.
How to Prevent Dental Implant Failure and Complications?
Brush and floss regularly to maintain optimal oral health.
Visit the dentist every six months for routine dental checkups and cleaning.
Eat calcium-rich foods, like milk and yogurt, or take calcium supplements to strengthen your bone.
Wear a mouthguard if you have bruxism or while playing sports.
Don’t chew ice or other hard objects.
Get the prosthetic tooth once your jawbone has healed completely.
Use zirconia implants to reduce the risk of bacterial infections, allergies, and implant rejection.
Visit an experienced oral surgeon with a strong track record.
Download our Dental Implant Checklists
Are you wondering if you need dental implants? Are you looking for a dentist for your dental implants? Are you preparing for your dental implant surgery? Please enter your email address to download our checklists for every stage of the dental implant process.
Laden Sie Ihre Checkliste für Ihren nächsten Zahnarztbesuch herunter
Fragen Sie sich, ob Sie Zahnimplantate brauchen?
Sind Sie auf der Suche nach einem Zahnarzt für Ihre Zahnimplantate?
Bereiten Sie sich auf Ihre Zahnimplantat-Operation vor?
Dann laden Sie sich jetzt Ihre Checkliste dafür herunter!