Dental Implant Problems
While the dental implant procedure is typically very safe and free of complications, it may not be suitable for all patients and does carry some risks of short and long-term complications. To learn more about the risks involved in having dentals implants placed and what steps you can take to avoid developing problems with your dental implants, please refer to the following.
Common Vs. Uncommon Problems
The most common problems that may occur following placement of your dental implants include:
- Infection: If dental implants are not properly taken care of, the risk of infection increases significantly. If an infection does occur, treatment may be as simple as antibiotics and/or a soft tissue graft, whereas a more serious infection that develops in the bone may result in needing to remove the implant and/or infected bone tissue.
- Loose implant: Before the final crown can be placed, the post in the jawbone will need to fuse with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration, which can take several months. Though uncommon, there is a possibility that the implant will fail to fuse with the bone, in which case the implant will need to be removed and a new implant placed.
- Tissue/nerve damage: If the implant is placed too close to the nerve, damage can occur which can result in issues such as long-term pain, tingling, numbness, and/or burning sensations in the lips and gums.
- Gum recession: Gum recession can occur around the area of the implant, which can cause pain and inflammation, and if untreated, the eventual failure of the implant.
Less common problems that may develop following placement of dental implants include the following:
- Peri-implantitis: Patients who have developed peri-implantitis (gum disease that causes bone loss in the area of bone supporting the implant) will often exhibit symptoms such as swelling or bleeding around the dental implant site. If you notice any of these symptoms it is important to schedule an appointment to have your implant evaluated as soon as possible.
- Sinus issues: When the dental implants protrude into the sinus cavities, sinusitis (swelling of the sinuses) can develop, which can cause a range of symptoms, including chronic halitosis, toothache, reduced ability to smell, high fever, swelling around the forehead, eyes, and cheeks, yellow or green mucus, tenderness, and/or pain.
- Physical trauma caused by excessive force: Bruxism or teeth grinding can sometimes develop following placement of a dental implant. Over time, this teeth grinding can cause the implant to become loose or crack. If bruxism develops following placement of your dental implant, you may need to wear a mouthguard while sleeping to protect your teeth from further damage.
- Implant rejection: Though very rare, there is a small possibility that a person’s body can reject an implant due to having an adverse reaction to titanium or other metals. As such, it is recommended that a person undergo metal sensitivity testing prior to having dental implants placed.
If you have additional questions or concerns regarding the dental implant process, schedule a consultation with your periodontist, who can answer your questions and provide additional information about steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing issues with your dental implant.