If you’re considering dental implants, you might realize the procedure necessitates surgery. The dental surgeon must drill the dental implant into the jawbone, which can sound pretty scary to some people. Because of the surgical nature of dental implantation, people often wonder if the procedure is dangerous.
While the prospect of oral surgery might sound scary, dental implantation is a completely safe procedure with a negligible risk of major side effects or complications. Studies suggest that less than 5% of all dental implants fail or cause complications, and those are pretty good odds. Furthermore, most of the complications and cases of implant failures relate to surgical flaws and other avoidable factors. The patient should generally have good oral health with sufficient jawbone tissues to ensure complete safety.
This article highlights the possible risks and complications of dental implant surgeries, helps you identify the symptoms of complications, and describes the risk factors.
Potential Risks of Dental Implants
Infections: Dental implantation carries a negligible risk of infections (the same as all surgeries), but you can reduce the risks with antibiotics and follow the dentist’s recommendations.
Gum Recession: Dental implantation may lead to gum recession around the implant site due to inflammation. Please contact your dentist if this happens.
Nerve Damage: If the dental implant is too close to a nerve, you may experience implant-induced nerve damage, leading to numbness and tingling sensations.
Allergies: Dental implantation with titanium implants often leads to allergic reactions, such as swelling, inflammation, loss of taste, etc. You can prevent titanium allergies with zirconia (ceramic) implants because they’re metal-free.
Sinus Problems: Dental implantation in the upper jaws can sometimes lead to sinusitis if the implant protrudes into the sinus cavity, leading to pain, swelling, nasal mucus, reduced sense of smell, etc. You can prevent this with sinus augmentation before the surgery.
Peri-Implantitis: Dental implantation can sometimes cause bacterial infection around the implant site because of the accumulation of bacteria, leading to inflammation, gum disease, and loss of bone. You can reduce the risk of peri-implantitis with zirconia implants.
What are the Warning Signs of Complications?
Severe pain around the implant
Difficulty while chewing
Risk Factors for Dental Implant Complications
Gum Disease: You must have optimal oral health during dental implant surgery. If you have active gum disease, the infection may spread to the implant site and cause complications.
Smoking: You must stop smoking at least 2 weeks before your implant surgery because it compromises your body’s healing ability, thereby increasing the risk of implant failure.
Insufficient Jawbone: You must have sufficient jawbone tissues to support the implant and facilitate healing. However, bone grafting before the surgery can aid with bone regeneration.
Medications: Some over-the-counter medications, such as heartburn medications and antidepressants, reduce your body’s healing rate, leading to implant failures. You can talk to your doctors about replacing your medications before the surgery.
Precautions for Dental Implant Users
Stop smoking before the implant.
Stop taking certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications before the surgery.
Inform your dentist about all your medications and drug usage.
Use zirconia implants to reduce the risk of peri-implantitis and allergies.
Treat all underlying medical conditions before the dental implant surgery.
Undergo sinus augmentation of bone grafting if you have insufficient jawbone.
It’s worth noting that the risks associated with dental implants reduce significantly if you maintain optimal oral health. Emerging evidence also shows that zirconia (ceramic) implants are more biocompatible than traditional, titanium implants, thus minimizing the risk of bacterial infections and peri-implantitis, one of the most dangerous complications of dental implants. If you want a healthy, long-term solution to missing teeth without complications, please contact your dentist about the possibility of zirconia implants.
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