For over 50 years, implant-based restorations have provided people with a life-like and long-lasting alternative to conventional dentures and bridges. Yet, despite all the information available, many people still ask the question “are dental implants safe?”
This is understandable because after all, dental implants are a major undertaking that can bring about life-changing results. So of course, it’s only natural to consider your health and safety before undergoing such a process.
Here are the facts…
Well-established treatment – Dental implants are a safe and well-established treatment for missing teeth that can last for as long as a patient is willing to care for them.
Biocompatible metal – Typically, dental implants are made from titanium – a material that is found to be compatible with the human body. Ultimately, this means that there is very little to no chance of the body rejecting it.
Implant surgery is 98% effective – Like all surgery, and dental implants are no exception, there are risks involved. However, due to the fact that dental implant placement has been tried, tested and honed over the last 50 years, many of the initial risks have now been minimised, so on average, dental implants are 98% successful. When you consider that about 5 million of these are placed each year, that’s around 4.95 million successful implants each and every year!
Dental implants procedures are well-planned – Before any dental implants are placed, there is a lot of planning that goes into it. Each patient undergoes medical checks and a series of X-rays to ensure that both their oral health and overall well-being are good.
Also, in many cases, the actual placement of any dental implants is played out virtually before the event to ensure pinpoint accuracy in both depth and trajectory.
Furthermore, many implant dentists, periodontists and oral surgeons are highly regarded in the industry and have individually placed hundreds, if not thousands, of dental implants into the mouths of happy patients. All of the above ensures the highest levels of comfort and minimum risk for the patient.
While the information above points to the fact that on the whole dental implants are safe, how can you as a patient ensure that any treatment you have is as risk-free as possible?
Let’s take a closer look…
Ensure you remain in good oral health
It may sound a bit of a contradiction that to be able to undergo dental implants you should ideally have a good standard of oral health – especially when missing one or more teeth. However, despite how good dental implants are, they do have an ‘Achilles heel’ in bacteria.
A bacterial imbalance otherwise known as a compromised immune system can cause huge problems for dental implants leading to infections around the implant site. Therefore the gums and mouth should be as healthy as possible before implants are placed to minimise any risk of developing peri-implantitis.
If you smoke, then quit
Okay, so this may be easier said than done, but it’s well documented that smoking can seriously affect the healing qualities that the body naturally has when dental implants are placed – particularly with regards to the osseointegration (bone fusion) process.
Smoking has been proven to slow down the healing process, so any small risk of implant failure is increased. As a result, most dentists will advise a patient to quit smoking – preferably altogether before undergoing dental implants – but at the very least, until the bone fusion process has been successful. This could be anywhere between 3-6 months.
Choose an experienced implant dentist
Even the best tools can prove less than perfect when in the hands of a poor operator, and the same is said for dental implants. Implants may be among some of the most technically advanced devices in the world having to absorb up to 200 lbs of bite pressure, but when in the hands of an inexperienced dentist, risks can be escalated.
On the contrary, a highly experienced dentist who has placed many dental implants has the skills to successfully place a restoration and the knowledge to know how to overcome any problems should they arise. It’s important, therefore, for potential patients to choose the right dentist or dental surgeon for the job.
With this in mind, don’t be afraid to ask them about their experience and the number of dental implants placed. Check out testimonials and reviews and really do your homework.
So there you have it – Hopefully, we’ve answered the question “are dental implants safe?” and what you can do as a potential patient to minimise any further risk.
The truth is that implant-based restorations offer life-changing solutions that other forms of missing tooth replacement can’t. So if you are considering dental implants but have a few reservations or concerns, then why not talk to the team at Beyond 32 Dental.
Our highly experienced team will take the time to answer all your questions and concerns, allowing you to make a fully informed decision. Call today to book a consultation on (02) 9158 6334 or contact us online.