Like any other surgical procedure, there are risks in having dental implants—and these may be increased if you have chronic health conditions. But are tooth implants safe? The short answer is yes. Dental implants are safe and effective replacements for one or more missing teeth. Get a free consultation at your local dental clinic to find out more, but meanwhile, let’s examine some of the risks and complications first.
Dental implant surgery is a safe and predictable treatment
One of the reasons for the safety and success of dental implants is the rigorous pre-surgery investigations and examinations. Eligible candidates are well-screened. Additionally, the dental implant technology used in the procedure allows for the accurate placement of a dental implant into its optimal position.
Are tooth implants safe for everyone?
There are some circumstances (see below) when dental implants may not be the best option. The safety of your implant may be compromised, leading to implant failure and removal. However, every case is taken on its own merits.
Even if you are in one of these categories, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will never be able to have a dental implant. Find a dentist that offers free consultation appointments to find out more.
Having good health is essential for implant treatment. Some chronic diseases may present problems for the placement of a dental implant. For example, people with diabetes tend to be susceptible to gum disease because dry mouth is a symptom of the disorder. There is a similar condition to gum disease that affects implants, called peri-implantitis, and diabetics are likely to have a propensity to this disease too. It can lead to the failure of an implant and necessitate its removal.
Furthermore, great care will need to be taken after dental implant surgery to prevent infection, as people with diabetes are more prone to infections than people without it.
Bone loss is a significant issue for people who want dental implants. For many people who lose their teeth, the cause is periodontal (gum) disease. In advanced periodontal disease, the gums, tooth ligaments, and bone are destroyed, so the tooth falls out. If a tooth is missing because of bone loss, it stands to reason there is not enough bone available to hold a dental implant either.
This is a problem for many people, but there is a solution in the form of bone grafts. It is not as scary as it sounds and is a common and safe dental procedure performed to increase the amount of bone in the jaw so that a dental implant is viable.
Smokers are not good candidates for dental implants. The toxins in cigarette smoke significantly compromise the soft tissues in the mouth and contribute to gum disease and bone loss. Additionally, smoking can contribute to infection following dental implant surgery. Failure of implants is much greater in smokers compared to non-smokers.
Tooth implants are safe thanks to modern technology
Science and medicine are evolving rapidly. As more technology becomes available, we can provide extremely accurate treatments and diagnoses to make dental implants one of the safest and most predictable dental treatments. Some of the technologies that have made a massive difference in modern dentistry include:
Digital Panoramic X-rays
Digital x-rays are also much safer for patients, using only a fraction of the radiation dose of traditional x-rays.
3D Cone Beam CT scans
Unlike traditional x-rays, cone beam CT scans show bones and soft tissues and determine whether a patient is suitable for an implant. This technology also helps in planning dental implant surgery to ascertain the optimal position for the implants.
Complications and Risks of Dental Implants
Some of the complications and risks that may occur with a dental implant include:
- Failure of osseointegration: when the implant and bone fail to integrate
- Improper implant placement: when there is an error in placing the implant
- Sinus damage when placing a dental implant in the upper jaw
- Nerve damage if the dentist fails to locate the nerves in the mouth and avoid them
- Infection—all surgical procedures carry a risk of infection
Fortunately, most of these complications and risks can be mitigated by having an experienced implantologist place your dental implant. Additionally, ensure you follow your dentist’s instructions for looking after the implants—particularly after surgery to keep the area clean and prevent infection.
Tooth implants are a safe procedure, although there are some risks and complications, as there are with any surgical procedure. If you’d like to know more about getting a dental implant, get in touch with us to schedule a free dental consultation near you. Contact Beyond 32 Dental on (02) 9158 6334 today.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Mayo Clinic: Periodontitis
Am. Ac. Of Periodontology: Peri-implant diseases