Dental implants are a more modern alternative to dentures and bridges. Instead of replacing a person’s natural teeth with “false” teeth, implants are used to replace the roots of the teeth and act as a foundation for permanent teeth replacements, otherwise known as implants.
These permanent dentures are made to match the patient’s natural teeth so they feel and look more natural, and require less maintenance than traditional dentures. Despite all the advantages provided by dental implants, dental implants are not the best option for some people, and there are some things that can go wrong. Before you choose to go with dental implants, it’s important to understand the risks so you can decide what’s best for you.
1. Implant Fractures
Talk to your oral surgeon or dentist about your dental behaviours. These are things that you do that can put your implant(s) at risk. If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw, the force can put too much pressure on your implants, making it fracture. Another cause of fracture to the implant is if the implant isn’t placed properly and it experiences too much pressure or stress. After a fracture, implants have to be replaced, which means the patient has to go through the whole replacement process a second time.
Any time someone has surgery or gets things added to their body there’s a chance the body won’t react positively. In some cases an infection results. If there’s bacteria around the implant it can cause issues with how the metal implant integrates to the patient’s jaw bone. This means the implant likely won’t take and even if it does, an infection might take hold and break the bond between the implant and the patient’s bone.
Proper oral hygiene before and after the implant can reduce the risks of infection. Any patient who notices signs of problems should notify his or her dentist as soon as possible to prevent infections.
3. Nerve Damage
Nerve damage can occur during the implant procedure or afterwards. This can cause a number of different problems and in some cases, the dental implant will have to be completely removed to repair the damage.
4. Gradual Bone Loss
While this side effect does happen, its instance is becoming rare as more surgeons learn how to successfully place implants. In cases where bone loss does occur, it’s because the dentist failed to make sure there was enough jawbone material in the patient, or because the implant was placed incorrectly.
5. What Increases a Patient’s Risk for Complications
In most cases, poor dental hygiene is the cause of short- and long-term dental implant complications. If a person has dental implants, he or she has made a major investment in oral health, and this has to be kept with regular brushing, flossing, and visits to the dentist. Too much food or bacterial plaque around an implant will cause inflammation in the gums which can lead to infection, bone loss, and even loss of the implant. Your dentist should make sure your implants are clean and healthy, and can help ensure the long-term success of your pearly whites.
The good news is that dental implant failure rate is extremely low, especially in the hands of a reliable dentist that specialize in dental implants. Fewer than five percent of implants fail within 15 years of placement. The variables that were associated with failure were the existence of complications and the smoking status of the patient. Compare this failure rate to that of traditional bridges and crowns, which have a 15 to 20 percent failure rate within 10 years of placement.