Dental Implant Problems
A dental implant is a long-term restoration replacement for a missing tooth. The implant itself is a titanium post that is surgically placed into your jawbone. Over several months, the implant and jawbone fuse together. Once integrated, the implant can support an artificial tooth or crown.
According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), around 3 million people in the United States now have dental implants. Dental implants continue to grow in popularity. There are over 500,000 new implants a year currently being placed. With a success rate of 95%, there can still be problems, although infrequent.
Are You a Candidate for a Dental Implant?
According to the AAID, dental implants are a viable solution for people who are replacing teeth. However, two potential problems in determining if a dental implant is appropriate for you is suitability and success rate. The first key problem with dental implants is that they are just not suitable for everyone. To receive dental implants, you must have good overall health. You must also have healthy gums and a healthy jawbone, as these elements will be supporting the dental implant throughout your lifetime. Dental implants are not suitable for a child, as their facial bones are still growing. Sometimes, a dental implant can fail. An implant failure falls into one of two categories: early failure, which is before the insertion of the implant, or late failure, which is after the implant has been in place for a while. Dental implants have a high success rate of around 95%. However, they may have a reduced success rate among people who:
- have diabetes.
- have gum disease.
- have had radiation therapy to the jaw area.
- take certain medications.
Although Infrequent, Some Common Dental Implant Problems
Here are some of the more common problems that can develop following a dental implant surgery.
Infection- You should take good care of your dental implants to reduce the risk of infection. It is vital to follow your dentist’s advice regarding aftercare. Treatment for an infection will depend on the severity and the location of the infection. A bacterial infection in the gum may require antibiotics or a soft tissue graft, whereas a bacterial infection in the bone can require removal of the infected bone tissue and possibly the implant.
Gum recession- In some cases, you may find that the gum tissue around the implant begins to recede. This may lead to inflammation and pain. Getting a prompt assessment from your dentist is essential to prevent the removal of the implant.
Loose implant- In the first few weeks following your procedure, the dental implant will be growing into and fusing with the jawbone. This process is called osseointegration, and it is crucial to the long-term success of the implant. This process may take many months. If the implant fails to fuse with the bone, the dentist may have to remove it.
Nerve or tissue damage- Sometimes, a dentist may inadvertently place a dental implant too close to your nerve. This can cause long-term numbness, tingling, or pain. A nerve or tissue problem requires immediate attention.
Ensuring Your Dental Implant Success
The best way to ensure the success of your dental implant is to follow the aftercare advice the dentist provides. You should avoid hot food and drinks and stick to a soft food diet for at least a few days. It is also important to avoid strenuous exercise for 2–3 days to prevent increased blood flow and associated swelling of the area. As with your natural teeth, an implant and the tissues surrounding it require regular cleaning. You continue to brush twice and ay and floss the area at least once per day after the gums have healed. You should also schedule regular dental check-ups and appointments every six months.