By: Dr. Lahiru Chandraweera

November 11, 2022

Are Dental Implants Safe?: What Is The Truth About Dental Implants?

Dental implants have become a popular choice for tooth replacement in recent years. While they are considered safe and effective treatment options, there are some risks associated with them.

In this blog post, we will discuss the truth about dental implants – what they are, the associated complications, and who is not qualified to get them.

We hope this information will help you make an informed decision about whether dental implants are right for you. Keep reading to learn more!

Are Dental Implants Safe?

A dental implant procedure involves surgically placing an artificial tooth in the jawbone. Because it is an invasive procedure, many people are concerned about safety.

Dental implant surgery is a relatively safe procedure. It has a success rate of 90%-95%. Additionally, dental implants are made from titanium metal. It is a very strong and biocompatible material well tolerated by the body. It usually does not cause any issues or complications. So if you’re considering dental implants, you can be confident that it is a safe dental procedure.

What Complications Are Associated With Dental Implants?

As with any surgery, some potential complications are associated with dental implant surgery. These include the following:

  • Allergic Reaction:
    Some people may experience an allergic reaction to implant materials. This can cause symptoms such as redness, swelling, and itching around the implant site. In rare cases, an allergic reaction may be life-threatening.

  • Damage to Surrounding Structures:
    Poor surgical technique or improper positioning of a dental implant could cause damage to the surrounding structures. This includes the adjacent teeth, gum tissue, and underlying bone.

  • Implant Failure:
    Though rare, implant failure can occur. This is usually caused by an infection or a lack of blood supply to the implant site. In some cases, removing and replacing the dental implant may be necessary to address implant failure.

  • Infection:
    One of the most common complications associated with dental implants is infection. This can occur when bacteria enter the wound during the implantation process. It can also happen afterward if proper oral hygiene is not maintained. Symptoms of infection include redness, swelling, pain, and drainage from the implant site.

  • Nerve Damage:
    This is a more serious complication of dental implants. It can occur if the implant is placed too close to nerves in the jawbone or if too much pressure is exerted on them. If not addressed, nerve damage can cause permanent facial paralysis or numbness.

  • Peri-Implantitis:
    This is an inflammation of the tissues around the implant site. This can cause pain, swelling, and discolouration around the implant. Eventually, this can lead to bone loss and implant failure.

  • Sinus Problems:
    If the dental implant is placed too close to the sinus cavity, it can cause problems such as sinus infections and drainage. These problems can be quite uncomfortable and can require additional treatment.

Dental implant surgery is a complex surgical procedure with associated complications ranging from minor gum infections to major problems like nerve damage. Consult with a qualified dental professional before undergoing dental implant surgery. You can make informed decisions about your dental care by understanding the risks involved.

Who Should Not Get Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a great dental solution for many people, but there are some instances where tooth implants are unsuitable. Patients who are not suitable for dental implants are:

  • Those who do not have enough bone to support the dental implant:
    Dental implant surgery requires enough bone in the jaw to support the artificial tooth. If there is insufficient bone, the dental implant will not have anything to attach to and eventually fail.

  • Those who have certain medical conditions:
    Some medical conditions can make dental implants a risky procedure. Conditions like diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune diseases can all increase the risk of complications from dental implant surgery.

  • Those who are heavy smokers:
    Smoking significantly increases the risk of complications from dental implant surgery. Smokers are up to twice as likely to experience problems with their dental implants as non-smokers.

  • Those who have had radiation therapy to the head or neck area:
    Radiation therapy can damage the tissues in the mouth, making them less likely to heal properly after dental implant surgery.

  • Those with periodontal disease:
    Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that can damage the bone supporting the teeth. This makes dental implants less likely to be successful in patients who suffer from this condition.

  • Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding:
    Both pregnancy and breastfeeding can cause hormonal changes that can interfere with the healing process after dental implant surgery. For this reason, it is generally recommended that women wait until after they have given birth or finished breastfeeding before having dental implant surgery.

  • Those who have poor oral hygiene:
    Poor oral hygiene can increase the risk of infection and other complications after implant surgery, so patients must practice good oral hygiene before their procedure. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using an antiseptic rinse.

  • Those who are taking certain medications:
    This includes bisphosphonates and heartburn medications. Bisphosphonates interfere with healing, while heartburn medications reduce new bone growth.

If you are considering dental implants, you must consult an experienced dentist to see if you are a suitable candidate for the procedure.

Final Thoughts

For many people, dental implants are a safe and effective way to replace missing teeth. The surgery is safe, and complications are rare. However, dental implants are not suitable for everyone. Some health conditions can make dental implant surgery riskier and more likely to fail.

At Hills Family Dental Centre, we want our patients to be informed about their dental options so they can make the right decision for their health. Please book an appointment through our website or contact us today! Visit our dental clinic, and our team of experts would be happy to answer any questions about dental implants or other services we offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many people out there who have dental implants. In fact, dental implant surgery is one of the most common dental procedures performed today. But despite their popularity, dental implants can fail. Failure rates range from 5 to 10%.

So, what causes dental implants to fail? Here are four reasons:

  • Poor oral hygiene:
    If you don’t maintain your oral hygiene, plaque and bacteria can build up around the implant, causing it to fail.

  • Smoking:
    This is one of the worst things you can do for your dental implants (or your health in general). Not only does smoking increase your risk of developing gum disease, but it also decreases blood flow to the gums, which can lead to implant failure.

  • Delayed healing:
    One of the most common complications after dental implant surgery is an infection which usually happens when there is delayed healing. If the implant site doesn’t heal properly, the implant may not fuse to the bone and could fail.

  • Excessive force:
    Dental implants are designed to withstand a lot of force, but they’re not indestructible. If you put too much pressure on an implant (from clenching or grinding your teeth, for example), it could break or come loose from the bone.

While dental implants are generally successful as a restoration device, there is always a chance that they could fail. With proper care and maintenance, you can help reduce your risk of implant failure and enjoy your new smile for years.

Dental implant surgery can be expensive, costing anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000 per tooth. There are a few reasons why this is so.

  • Dental surgery is quite complex. It requires careful planning and a highly skilled dental surgeon to do the procedure.

  • Dental implants are made from high-quality materials that can withstand the everyday wear and tear of chewing and biting.

  • Dental implant surgery is technique-sensitive, often requiring multiple office visits and a lengthy recovery period.

For all these reasons, dental implants are one of the more expensive tooth replacement options. However, many people feel that the benefits of dental implants far outweigh the cost. Dental implants can give you a beautiful and natural-looking smile that can last a lifetime.

Dental implants are usually fitted by a skilled oral surgeon. The process involves several steps, including:

  • Preparing the jawbone
  • Placing the implant post into the jawbone.
  • Allowing time for the implant to integrate with your jawbone fully.
  • Attaching the artificial tooth (such as a crown, dental bridge, or denture)

Depending on your individual needs, this entire process can take several months.

You will likely be given a local anesthetic during the implant fitting to minimise discomfort. After the procedure is complete, your dentist may give you instructions for care. This include:

  • Proper oral care
  • Dietary restrictions (eating soft foods only)
  • Lifestyle changes

The longevity of dental implants depends on various factors, such as your overall oral health, how well you take care of your implant, and the type of material used. Most people can expect their dental implants to last for about 10-15 years before needing replacement. With proper care and regular checkups with your dentist, you can expect your implants to last for even longer years.