Dental Implants Problems
Although dental implant surgery (DIS) has a high success rate, it is not suitable for everyone and may carry certain risks. To learn more about common and uncommon problems that may develop following DIS, please refer to the following.
- Infection: It is important to closely follow aftercare instructions to avoid an infection from developing. Treating an infection will depend on where the infection develops and how severe it becomes. For example, if the bone develops a bacterial infection, it may be necessary to remove the infected tissue and possibly the implant as well, after which a bone graft will need to be performed and another implant placed. If the infection occurs in the gums, treatment may be as simple as antibiotics or a soft tissue graft.
- Gum recession: Following placement of a dental implant, some people may experience gum recession around the area of the implant, which can lead to discomfort and/or inflammation. It is important to address gum recession as quickly as possible to ensure the implant does not become loosened or need to be removed.
- Loose implant: Once the implant has been placed in the jawbone, it will take several months for the post to fuse with the jawbone, which it does through a process called osseointegration. If the post does not properly fuse with the jawbone, it may be necessary to remove it and place a new implant once the area has healed.
- Nerve/tissue damage: Though very uncommon, thanks in large part to advancements in dental technology and procedural methodologies, it is possible for an implant to be placed too closely to a nerve, which can cause nerve damage. Common symptoms of an implant being improperly placed include a burning, tickling, or tingling sensation of the gums and skin, persistent discomfort or pain, and/or numbness on the side of the implant, which may include the chin and lip.
One uncommon issue that may develop following DIS is sinusitis, which occurs when swelling causes the implants to protrude into the cavities of the sinus.
When this occurs, possible symptoms include:
- Sinus headaches
- High fever
- Reduced sense of smell
- Blocked nose
- Yellow or green mucus
- Swelling, tenderness or pain around the forehead, eyes, or cheeks
Additional Factors that May Damage Your Dental implants
Like your natural teeth, your dental implant can develop problems if it becomes loosened or cracks due to excessive force. While some physical trauma is obvious, other underlying issues such as TMJ or bruxism, which are characterized by grinding your teeth can also cause damage to an implant over time. There are several treatment options available for TMJ and Bruxism, one of the most common being to wear a nightguard to protect your implant and other teeth while sleeping.
Dental implant problems can also develop due to gum disease, which causes deterioration of the bone supporting your implant. Peri-implantitis typically takes around five years to develop and typically is indicated by early symptoms such as swelling or bleeding around the implant site.
Another possibility of dental implant problems is the body rejecting the implant, though this is a rare occurrence and usually the result of a person having an extreme sensitivity to certain types of metals. As such, it is recommended that patients undergo metal sensitivity early in the dental implant process to ensure they do not develop any unnecessary problems at a later point.