Dental Implant Series Part 2 – Possible Complications and Risks

Dental implants have proved to be extremely useful maxillofacial prostheses, and are routinely utilized for the replacement of missing teeth or other facial structures. In fact, an increasingly larger numbers of patients are benefiting from this surgery throughout the world. However, despite the numerous benefits and the miraculous ability of the implants to restore the masticatory function of the teeth, the surgery required for placing an implant involves a permanent introduction of a foreign, non-biological body into the human body. Therefore, there are chances, although scarce, of adverse or allergic reactions of the body following an implant placement. They are discussed below.


During Surgery

Possible risks and complications during surgery are:
• Peri-Implantitis – Infection of region surrounding the implant.
• Soft Tissue Injury – Damage to flap tissue
• Necrosis – Necrosis of bone cells can occur if the blood supply of the bony tissue is compromised
• Vascular Damage – Injury to nearby blood vessels, leading to impaired healing and increased chances of an infection.
• Damage To The Nervous Tissues – Damage to alveolar nerve or maxillary sinus (although sinusitis effect is rarely prolonged)
• Failed Ossoeintegration – Improper placement of implant can inhibit ossoeintegration and hence failure of implant.


Within Six Months

Immediate post-operative risks:
• Post-operative infection: use of antibiotics before operation may reduce the risk of implant failure but not post-op infection.
• Rarely, breakdown or infection of the of the flap


Integration failure

Checks must be made in the third month. Parameters which could indicate a possible tendency to failure are: gingival bleeding, pain, infection, mobility, loss of bone around the implant (1.5 mm or more), or radiographic opaqueness. Implant failure is not frequent, and can be due to one or more of three reasons: Skill of the surgeon, amount and health of the bone, and subsequent oral health practices of the patient. It is said that smoking and drinking can also influence the success rate as well as general heath of the patient. If care is taken, immediate loading does not affect the success rate except in case of a single tooth implant.


Long Term Risks and Complications

• Too high expectations by patient
• Raised smile line
• Papillae missing
• Inflammation of the gums
• Infection of the jaw bones
Bio-mechanical cause of failure
• An implant will not suffer from cavities like a natural tooth but
• Not enough implants provided for the number of teeth.
• Tendency to grind teeth can be a reason for early failure.
• Gaps between the abutment and the implant can house germs and cause disease and ear failure


Should I Worry About the Complications?

As discussed earlier, every dental procedure, especially if it involves surgical intervention, carries a risk of development of adverse reactions or allergies. However, in case of dental implants, if the correct protocol for implant placement is followed, then the chances of complications and adverse effects is greatly minimized. Hence, it is always a good practice to choose a Fort Worth dentist who has thorough experience and training in the placement of dental implants.


On Wednesday, we’ll discuss what needs to happen if your gums aren’t sufficient to completely cover implants in part 3 of our dental implant series.

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