Dangers of Dental Implants

The success rate of dental implants has been gradually increasing as innovations in the techniques and the materials used continue to evolve. However, as try as we might to perfect the success of dental implants, there will always be the possibility of risks as well as complications.

During the surgical procedure, nerves that might be located near the implant site can be damaged if improper drilling and positioning of the implant is done. The inferior alveolar nerve in the lower jaw is the most common concern when it comes to doing surgical procedures in the area. If proper care is not exhibited during the procedure, this nerve can be injured or even cut. This will cause a range of effects from the mild symptoms of tingling to the more severe forms such as altered sensation or loss of sensation altogether.

Implants in the upper jaw may require added surgical procedures such as a sinus lift. This procedure is usually done when there is insufficient bone for the implant to integrate with and entails reduction of bone on the maxillary sinus. This bone is then placed on the areas of the posterior teeth and thus leaves the sinus bone thinned out. The proximity of the implant to this thinned out sinus can cause it to migrate or to be displaced on the sinus.

The location of the implant serves as a possible route of infection between the sinus and the oral cavity which can lead to sinusitis, headaches and severe migraine. Additional procedures will have to be done to remove the displaced implant and to increase the bone quantity on the sinus again.

Two of the growing problems in dental implants involve peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis which can be due to poor positioning of implants and errors in the final restorations.

Peri-implant mucositis is the inflammation of the tissues surrounding the dental implant while peri-implantitis is inflammation of the soft tissues coupled with bone loss. As the peri-implantitis becomes more severe, this can lead to both bone loss around the implant as well as mobility. Patients usually do not have any obvious symptoms for these two conditions. As a result, their detection may be too late and rendering the implant non-saveable. In some cases, the dentist can attempt to place another implant once the site becomes stable and healthy again.

The normal risks of any surgery are also present in dental implant procedures. The possibility of infections can lead to the formation of abscesses, pus formation as well as inflammation. Excessive bleeding can also happen if larger arteries are cut while the implant site is being drilled or when the implant is being positioned inside the bone.

There is also the growing risk of titanium allergy. Titanium is the most common metal used in dental implants because of its strength and compatibility to our body. However, our bodies are different and will react differently to certain materials. Some cases of titanium allergy have been documented and presented as skin rashes and some even leading to implant loss.

It can seem like a lot of things could go wrong if you decide to get implants. As long as you are in good health and are in the hands of a good dental team there is no need to worry as these risks can be greatly minimized or prevented altogether.