Understanding the Risks to Consider Before a Dental Implant Procedure

When it comes to dental implants, there are potential risks to consider. The most common is the risk of infection. If an infection occurs, it can lead to inflammation, pain, and even further damage. Some other implant risks to consider are nerve damage and of course, total dental implant failure.

By Dr. Mike Alkateb

Royal Dental Spa Craigieburn

Understanding the Risks to Consider Before a Dental Implant Procedure

Royal Dental Spa Craigieburn

Dental implants are a popular choice for tooth replacement and restoring functionality to your beautiful smile. Before getting a dental implant, it’s important to understand the risks associated with the procedure and how to manage them.

When it comes to dental implants, there are potential risks to consider. The most common is the risk of infection. If an infection occurs, it can lead to inflammation, pain, and even further damage. Some other implant risks to consider are nerve damage and of course, total dental implant failure.

Lastly, it is important to remember that any surgery comes with a risk of complications, and a dental implant process is no different. Fortunately, these risks are minor, and most people undergo the procedure without issues. With the right precautions and your dentist’s skills in dental implant surgery, you can manage the implant procedure risks and increase the chances of a successful outcome.

Summary of the Article:

  • Dental implants provide a natural-looking and effective tooth replacement option for people with a decayed, lost, or damaged tooth or other reasons such as jawbone deterioration.

  • Some risks to consider before a tooth implant include possible infection, nerve damage, sinus problems, and bone loss.

  • The risk of dental implants can be managed with a proper dental hygiene routine, careful selection of materials, and a thorough dental consultation.

  • Dental implants are generally considered safe and offer many benefits, such as improved oral function, aesthetics, and comfort.

  • The procedure takes an hour or two to complete, though multiple visits may be required.

  • Dental implant failure may be caused by poor dental hygiene, smoking, and selecting an inexperienced dentist.

  • Alternatives to dental implants include bridges, dentures, and veneers.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a durable, reliable choice for replacing missing or damaged teeth. Implants provide natural-looking dental treatment alternatives to dentures or bridges and help restore your gorgeous smile. Dental implants, with a high success rate, are also the most secure way to replace lost teeth.

The implant is a small post surgically placed into the jawbone. From there, a custom-made restoration is attached to the implant, creating a stable foundation for the new tooth replacement.

The surgical procedure is relatively straightforward, and your dentist will keep you comfortable and well-informed throughout your dental procedures. The entire implant treatment process is designed to give you the desired possible outcome and provide you with remarkable artificial teeth restoration.

Implants are an excellent choice for those looking for a reliable and durable substitute for natural teeth. Your implant dentist will be able to assess if you’re a good candidate for a dental implant and provide you with all the information you need to make the right decision.

What Are the Risks Associated with Dental Implant Surgery?

Before undergoing dental implant surgery, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with the procedure. Despite advancements in dental implant technology, there are still risks associated with the procedure. Below is a list of the common risks and tips to help you avoid them.

  • Post-operative infection – In rare cases, bacteria can enter the area during or after surgery, causing an infection. To prevent this, it’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions closely and take special care of your teeth and gums during the weeks following your surgery.

  • Sinus infections – If implants are placed too low, it can cause damage to the sinus cavities. To avoid this, your dentist will carefully map out the placement of the implants, so they are placed at the proper depth.

  • Damage to adjacent teeth or nerves – Improper placement of the implant can cause damage to the surrounding teeth or nerves, leading to nerve damage and mild pain. To minimise the risk, your dentist will use x-rays and other imaging technology for accuracy when placing the implant.

  • Implant rejection – In rare cases, the body may reject the implant, which can cause it to fail. To help prevent this, your dentist will likely use titanium implants, which are more likely to be accepted by the body.

  • Poor healing – Poor healing of the implant site can cause dental implant failure. Proper care of your teeth and gums following the surgery and adhering to your dentist’s post-operative instructions are essential for quick and effective healing.

  • Bleeding – Bleeding can occur if the site is not properly prepared before surgery or if the area is not kept clean during the healing process. Eating a healthy diet is important to avoid this, as taking the prescribed medications and following your dentist’s recommendations.

Dental implants have revolutionised tooth replacement, offering a safe and effective way to restore missing teeth and tooth functionality. While there are risks associated with dental implant surgery, these risks can be minimised with proper and sound dental care. If you are considering dental implants, discussing all possible risks with your dentist and any measures you can take to reduce those risks is important.

What Are the Benefits of A Dental Implant?

  • Durability:
    Dental implants are highly durable and can last years with the right oral care. They are made of titanium, a strong and lightweight material that integrates with the jawbone. This helps provide a secure, stable, and long-lasting hold.

  • Natural appearance:
    Dental implants look and feel completely natural, which can boost your confidence. Your dentist will customise your dental implant to match your natural teeth’ size, shape, and colour.

  • Improved oral health:
    Dental implants don’t require the removal of any healthy teeth, which helps to preserve the dental health of your teeth, gum
    s, and jawbone.

  • Versatility:
    Dental implants can replace a single tooth, multiple missing teeth, or even a complete set of teeth.

  • Comfort:
    Dental implants stay securely in place, unlike removable dentures. This means eating, and speaking can be done with ease and comfort.

  • Consolidation of oral health:
    Dental implants can help keep your remaining natural teeth in position, helping to reduce the risk of misalignment and further tooth loss.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

Dental implants are a safe and reliable tooth restoration procedure. They are made of titanium, a material that is strong and durable and compatible with the body. The titanium rods that make up the implants are inserted into the strong jaw bone, where the implant fuses with the bone to form a secure base for false teeth. The process of getting implants is a minimally invasive procedure and generally safe.

When Might a Dental Implant Be Needed?

When a patient’s dental health has been compromised, there are many reasons why a dental implant may be needed. Here are some of the most common:

  • Missing teeth:
    Dental implants are often used to replace missing teeth. Whether due to decay, injury, or age, missing teeth can cause a range of issues, including difficulty chewing, changes in speech, and a lack of confidence in one’s smile.

  • Congenital conditions:
    Some individuals are born without certain teeth or have teeth that never fully develop. In these cases, dental implants can be used to fill in the gaps and restore the patient’s dental health.

  • Supports dentures:
    Some patients who wear dentures may find them uncomfortable or ill-fitting. Dental implants can be used to provide support for dentures, making them more comfortable and functional.

How Long Does a Dental Implant Procedure Take?

The length of time needed for a dental implant procedure can vary, depending on the complexity of the case and the type of implant being used. Generally, though, the process involves several steps that usually take 5-8 months to complete.

First, your dentist will assess your current dental health and take x-rays and impressions to plan the procedure. If a tooth needs to be extracted, it will be extracted at this stage. This part of the procedure usually takes about one to two hours, depending on the situation.

Then, an abutment and post will be placed into your jawbone. The implant post will serve as a base for the dental implant that will be attached later. This process takes one to two hours.

The next step is dental implant placement. During this procedure, your dentist will place the implant into your jawbone. This process generally takes one to two hours as well.

Lastly, your dentist will place the final restoration. Depending on your needs, this can be a dental crown, dental bridge, or denture. This process takes one to two hours as well.

Can Dental Implants Fail?

While the success rate of dental implants is generally quite high, it’s important to understand the potential causes of implant failure.

  • Poor oral hygiene.
    Bacteria can easily build up around dental implants if the patient doesn’t brush and floss regularly, forming plaque and tartar. If not addressed, this can eventually lead to gum disease and infection, weakening or damaging the implant.

  • Chronic health conditions.
    Diabetes, for example, can decrease the body’s ability to heal and fight infection, making successful implant placement less likely. Other conditions like autoimmune diseases or chemotherapy treatments can also weaken the body’s ability to heal, increasing the risk of implant failure.

  • The implant is not properly placed.
    The success of dental implants is highly dependent on the dentist’s skill in performing the procedure. If not placed correctly, it can cause nerve damage or even break, leading to implant failure. For this reason, it is important to work with an experienced dentist with the training and skill to place implants properly.

How Often Do Dental Implants Fail?

The overall failure rate of dental implants is estimated to be around 2-3%. Failure happens due to poor implant placement, infection, or jawbone deterioration. Poor implant placement occurs when the implant is not securely seated in the jawbone, which can lead to failure. Infections can also occur if bacteria are introduced to the area during the implant process, and this can cause the implant to fail. Finally, if the jawbone deteriorates, the implant will not have enough support and can eventually fail.

Are There Specific Patients More Susceptible to Dental Implant Failure?

Dental implant failure is more likely to occur in certain individuals. Those with diabetes, osteoporosis, heavy smokers or alcohol drinkers are at a higher risk of dental implant failure. These conditions can affect the body’s ability to heal and fight infection, making it difficult for the dental implant to fuse with the surrounding bone.

Patients should discuss their medical history, lifestyle habits, and other risk factors with their dentist before undergoing the dental implant procedure. This will help the dentist determine if a patient is a good candidate for a dental implant or if any additional measures should be taken for better chances of implant success.

How to Minimise the Chances of Dental Implant Failure

  • Attend regular check-ups:
    Dentists can identify and address any early signs of implant failure before they become serious issues.

  • Don’t smoke:
    Smoking tobacco can significantly impact dental implants by reducing the number of nutrients reaching the implant site, weakening the implant. In addition, tobacco contains high levels of toxins that can damage the gums and weaken the implant.

  • Practice good oral hygiene:
    Brush and floss daily to eliminate plaque and food particles from the teeth and gums. Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash to flush out bacteria that can cause infection and inflammation.

  • Eat a nutritious diet:
    Eating a balanced diet will help keep your gums healthy, preventing the implant from becoming loose, and this can also help the implant heal faster.  In addition, avoiding sugary and acidic foods can help prevent plaque buildup, which can weaken the implant and lead to failure.

What Are the Alternatives to Dental Implants?

  • Dental bridges:
    Bridges consist of a false tooth or teeth held in place by dental crowns placed over the abutment teeth on either side of the bridge.

  • Dentures:
    Dentures are removable, prosthetic teeth that come in full or partial sets to replace any missing teeth.

  • Dental bonding:
    Dental bonding is a quick, easy and affordable way to manage chips and gaps in the teeth. A tooth-coloured material is applied to the tooth, hardened with a special light and then shaped to match the surrounding teeth.

  • Inlays and onlays:
    An inlay is a custom-made filling created in a laboratory and set into the tooth’s centre. An onlay is similar but covers a large area of the tooth, including one or more cusps.

  • Root canals:
    Root canals are a dental procedure used to save a tooth that has been damaged or decayed. The tooth’s pulp is taken out during the procedure, and the root canal is cleaned and filled with a special filling material.

  • Porcelain veneers:
    Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are custom-made and placed over the teeth’ front surface to improve the smile’s appearance. Porcelain veneers can close gaps, repair chips and discolourations, and make the teeth appear whiter and straighter.

How Do I Know if My Dental Implants Failed?

If you’ve received dental implants, monitoring your progress is important so that everything goes according to plan.

One of the first signs is if you experience discomfort or pain beyond the expected level. Problems such as swelling, inflammation, and infection can indicate implant failure. Additionally, an implant no longer securely attached to the jawbone could also be a sign of failure.

You may also notice an issue with your bite. If the implant is noticeably loose or has moved from its original position, implant failure is likely. Another indication is if you’re having difficulties with chewing or speaking.

If you’ve noticed any of these signs, it’s important to make an appointment with your dentist so they can assess the implant and determine if it has failed and plan for the steps to manage it.

Final Thoughts

When considering a dental implant procedure, understanding the risks associated with this type of surgery is essential for better outcomes. Fortunately, with careful planning and preparation, these risks can be minimised.

We understand that the decision to undergo surgery can be daunting, but don’t let the fear of surgery hold you back from achieving the confident smile you deserve. Here at  Royal Dental Spa, our team, with our state-of-the-art technology and commitment to patient care, you can trust that you’re in good hands. 

Experience luxury dental care at Royal Dental Spa.

At Royal Dental Spa, we believe that everyone deserves to experience the luxury and comfort of top-quality dental care. Don't wait any longer to experience the royal treatment – book your appointment at Royal Dental Spa today!

Royal Dental Spa