Common Dental Implant Problems and Their Treatments

While a dental implant procedure is one of the most effective treatments for rehabilitating missing teeth, it is not fit for everyone. Patients have noticed various complications and risks with dental implants.

This article summarizes the potential problems that can result from dental implants and their treatment options so you can protect your investment.

Dental Implant Overview

Dental implants are an advanced option to replace missing teeth. During the implant procedure, your dentist replaces your natural tooth root with a titanium screw that bonds to your jawbone. This titanium “root” provides an anchor for dental restoration, usually a bridge, crown, or dentures.

The long-term fixes can enhance your appearance and ability to speak and chew. Even better, they do not develop cavities. However, they still need to be properly cared for to prevent other issues.

Your dentist may suggest dental implants for the following reasons:

  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Cavities
  • Injury
  • Excessive tooth wear brought on by teeth grinding (also known as bruxism)

Possible Issues from A Dental Implant Procedure

Several complications may develop following dental implant surgery. Some of these include:

Nerve Damage

Since everyone’s nerve routes differ, an implant can be positioned too close to a nerve. This may cause tingling sensations, sometimes localized transient numbness, and nerve pain.

Though very unlikely (approximately 1% of all cases), it is still possible. And you should report any symptoms of this nature to your oral surgeon as soon as possible.

Early intervention can reverse the issue in one or more ways, all of which necessitate your oral surgeon removing or adjusting the implant. Before approving implant surgery, discuss any concerns you may have with your surgeon regarding your implant placement.

Infection

Even though your mouth has an abundance of bacteria, there’s a risk of infection when you undergo dental implant treatment. This may occur if you have an existing problem or if one part of your mouth becomes infected and spreads to the area where your dental implant is located.

Treatment for infection is determined by the degree and site of the infection. For instance, a gum infection caused by bacteria may need a soft tissue graft or antibiotics. A bacterial bone infection may demand the removal of the implant and any affected bone tissue, followed by a bone and soft tissue graft.

Signs of a dental implant infection

Here are signs that you might have an infection:

  • Difficulty chewing food
  • Bad breath/ taste in the mouth that barely goes away
  • Frequent or constant fever with no cold symptoms
  • Gums are red, swollen, or receding
  • The implant feels loose
  • Blood or pus near the implant area
  • Pain or discomfort, or both

Dental implant infections worsen within the shortest time possible. If you do not take action immediately, the infection will keep your implant from bonding to your jawbone and eventually cause it to fail. Therefore, it is important to visit a dentist immediately.

Loose Implant

In the initial weeks after a DIS, the dental implant will grow and integrate with the jawbone. This process (also known as osseointegration) is vital to the long-term success of your dental implant and may take months.

If the implant does not integrate with the bone, the surgeon may remove it. Once the location has healed, the patient might be able to try the implant operation again.

Complications Due To Smoking

Smoking is not good for your health. Even worse, it is detrimental to your oral health.

Smoking can hinder the recovery process after oral surgery in several ways, such as drying out the gums, restricting blood flow to the gums, introducing tar, nicotine, and other hazardous compounds to the surrounding tissues, and lengthening the recovery period.

If possible, give up smoking while you heal to significantly lower your chances of developing problems.

Peri-implantitis

Gum problems can develop immediately after receiving a dental implant and might be painful or undetectable.

There is the possibility of developing a gum condition like peri-implantitis. This gum infection develops close to the implant area due to bacteria growing in the gums surrounding the implant.

As a result, you may find that the gum tissue surrounding the implant starts to recede, causing pain and inflammation. If you notice this, get a prompt assessment from a dentist so you can keep the implant.

Treatment and Prevention

For some people, implants can be a lasting solution, but others may have side effects or need additional treatment. While the implants and restorations are not real teeth, maintaining your health and ensuring their long-term effectiveness still depends on your diet and oral hygiene regimen.

Your oral surgeon will frequently remove the implant and re-implant it as part of the treatment for complications such as loosening or other issues. Even if your implant fails, reimplantation has a high chance of succeeding (about 90%).

You can reduce the possibility of dental implant problems by adhering to these steps:

Avoiding alcohol and smoking

During recovery, avoiding alcohol and smoking is crucial to preventing oral infections and decreasing healing time.

Smoking and consuming alcohol can lead to gum issues like irritation, bleeding, or inflammation of the gum tissues, as well as the development of periodontal diseases such as receding gums, swollen gums, or loosening dental implants.

Scheduling regular visits with your dental professional

Implant surgery is a complex process requiring several follow-up visits to monitor your recovery and check for complications.

Ensuring you go for regular check-ups and adhere to your oral health professional’s recommendations will significantly reduce the likelihood of issues from your implants. This is the easiest and most crucial approach to avoiding dental implant problems.

Taking care of your teeth

You can prevent dental implant issues by regularly brushing, flossing, and rinsing your teeth. Brushing is important since it can eliminate food residue and plaque on your teeth.

Flossing, on the other hand, helps eliminate food particles that can harbor hazardous bacteria and make you more susceptible to infection.

Conclusion

A dental implant procedure is not for everyone. You will need to undergo extensive examination by our dental practitioner to determine if you are a suitable candidate for the procedure.

While dental implants have a high success rate (about 95%), complications are not uncommon. See our dental surgeon if you develop worrying symptoms after a dental implant procedure.

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