Dangers of Dental Implants

Implants teeth side effects


Today, dental implants really are the standard for replacing missing teeth. Any surgery has risks, but the benefits (preserving bone, no cutting down of adjacent teeth) make implants the first choice if you've lost a tooth. If you are healthy and have experienced doctors, I don't think you need to worry much about complications. I have seen implants fail in smokers more than once though, so that would be a real concern.

Having dental implant surgery is completely safe with minimal risks associated with it. You need to find a qualified dentist and/or specialists such as a periodontist (gum and bone specialist) or oral surgeon. Ask him or her how many cases they perform per week and how many years they have been doing it. As long as a proper history is taken, a good clinical examination is performed and a 3D CAT scan is taken prior to surgery, the risks are minimized. In medicine and dentistry we cannot guarantee results. However, having said that, we minimize risk by careful pre-operative planning. There is an old saying builders have: measure twice-cut once. As long as your dental healthcare professional adheres to this principle, your risk of any complications or infections or nerve damage will be negligible.

34 years ago, when I completed Dental School, the success rate of Implants was about 50%. That rate has gradually climbed to about 96% today. There are a few failures, but diagnosed and placed correctly, you should not worry about any serious side effects.

What are common problems with Dental Implants? More importantly, how worried should you be about having problems with Dental Implants?

The answer is there is a low problem rate. Most people have dental implants placed and then the teeth rebuilt on them without any major issues and they work well for many years, possibly even your whole life.

Like ANY minor surgical procedure, there are always some risks. I have found after twenty years as a dental implant dentist in Denver, that almost all of the problems can be prevented by impeccable pre-planning.

Most of the time an oral surgeon or a periodontist puts the implant root in. After it heals then the cosmetic dentist connects the post (the abutment) and then the final teeth or crowns. SOme of the more common problems or complications from dental implants are:

  • poor alignment, leading to poor aesthetics or inadequate strength
  • infection
  • pain, more common if the jaw needs grafts
  • bite issues leading to loosening/failure and loss of the dental implant

I tell my patients, "Don't let anyone put the implant root in until I tell you its OK." The cosmetic dentist needs to organize and direct any of the other specialists on exactly where the implant should go.

I also tell my patients- "let's compare other risks". Think about the risks you face everyday when you drive your car: some one could run a red light, a pedestrian could step off the curb, an old man could have a heart attack and swerve, my tire could blow out...but yet we all still get in our cars everyday and log many miles without problems. Dental implants are similar in this way.



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