While the dental implant procedure itself has a very high success rate, there is still a small percentage of patients who experience problems.
Some of these problems are minor, and some are much more serious.
The success of a dental implant procedure is often related to:
1.- The dentist or surgeon’s skill
2.- The quality and quantity of the bone available in the patient
3.- The cleanliness of the materials used
4.- The patient’s healing ability
5.- The patient’s oral hygiene habits
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The best way to reduce the complications of dental implant surgery is to only receive treatment from trusted, qualified, and competent dentists and oral surgeons. Also, the patient must practice excellent oral hygiene to avoid infection. Here is a list of some of the potential problems associated with dental implant surgery:
Infection in the surrounding bone and gums is probably the most common complication experienced by patients. Infection can happen as a result of a contaminated implant, a pre-existing infection, non-sterile techniques, or poor healing ability. Sometimes, infection occurs months or even years after the procedure.
Osseointegration is the firm anchoring of a dental implant into the bone around it. Sometimes the bone does not fuse around the threads of the implant, causing the implant to become uncomfortable, loose, or even come out completely.
This, however, is not a common problem, since the dentist or oral surgeon will usually x-ray the patient’s mouth before the procedure in order to determine which parts of the jawbone are dense enough to successfully hold the implant in place.
If osseointegration is unsuccessful the first time around, then the dental implant procedure can be attempted again later, once the patient has fully healed.
Damage to Surrounding Areas
Adjacent teeth, tissues, and nerves can sometimes be negatively affected by dental implant surgery, too. However, in most cases the dentist is able to identify potentially problematic areas by examining x-rays or CT scans. A proper surgical approach is then planned to find the ideal location and angle, minimizing the risk for complications.
But problems can still occur, even after all of the proper precautions are taken. For example, the jawbone can fracture when pressure is applied during the implant placement. Also, the sinus cavity can be perforated if the dental implant is placed improperly or if it is the incorrect length.
Another possible damage site is the nerve that runs through the lower jawbone. Sometime this nerve can be damaged during surgery, and other times the implant itself may be placed on top of the nerve, causing pain and numbness. If symptoms persist, then the implant will most likely need to be removed.
A minor amount of blood is considered normal for the first day or two following the surgery. However, excessive bleeding or the appearance of blood after the initial two days is usually not normal. It’s best to contact your dentist immediately if this occurs.
Rejection by the Body
It is quite uncommon, but is still a possibility, that the body will consider the implant a harmful foreign object and will proceed to reject its presence in the mouth.