Are you missing any teeth? A dental implant might be an excellent way to replace one or many missing teeth. In the past, the only way to replace teeth was either by grinding down adjacent teeth to hold a fixed bridge or by wearing a removable partial denture. Thanks to advancing technologies, there are high success rates and implants have become a long-lasting solution for fractured, decayed, loose or simply absent teeth. Implants are also a great way to minimize bone loss, thus preventing facial changes that result from missing teeth and bone shrinkage. Dental implants also act as natural teeth, so they will restore comfort, aesthetics, speech and biting forces. However, nothing is perfect and you are probably wondering what are the risks. You will find the most common questions answered below.
Can dental implants fail?
Yes. No dental procedure has a 100% success rate. Titanium implants are rarely rejected by the body due to the fact that their non-toxic material is one of the most biocompatible materials available. Titanium is characterized for being able to be integrated into the body, which is why it is also used in other kinds of prosthesis like knee or hip replacements.
How often do dental implants fail?
Studies have shown that 5%-10% of implant placements fail. Most of these come from patients with health complications. However, even in healthy patients, there is still a 2% risk of body rejection of the implant.
What are the risk factors for dental implant failure?
There is a heightened risk of implant failure if one or several of the following are present: Smoking, uncontrolled diabetes, leukemia, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, certain medications such as bisphosphonates, osteoporosis, poor oral health or periodontitis, and previously grafted bone.
Can dental implants cause an infection?
It is not common, but yes they can. Remember these are foreign objects that are inserted into your body. Although, the surgeon will use a sterile environment, bacteria can still creep in if the area is not cleaned properly or often. Sometimes, the body simply rejects the foreign body. Common symptoms are continual pain, swelling, bleeding, heat, pus or an abscess. Antibiotics help prevent these or minimize the symptoms, but oftentimes infections lead to implant failure. In such cases, the implant will simply not integrate and fall out.
Can dental implants cause allergic reactions?
As with most medical procedures, nothing is guaranteed 100%. There are extremely rare cases of allergic reactions to metals (any metals, including titanium). Such patients will show sensitivity to exposure to other metals such as nickel, aluminum or silver in jewelry. This condition can also be known via a simple blood test. Mild reactions can be treated with medication but severe reactions might result in implant failure.
Can my dental implant corrode or fracture?
Titanium does not corrode when exposed to the environment. Fractures are not common, although they can happen. It is much more common to have fractures on the crown over the implant.
What can I expect after the surgery?
Swelling and bruising are the most common symptoms after the surgery and they are perfectly normal. Anti-inflammatory medication and ice packs will help keep these symptoms in check. You will start going back to normal by the fourth day after surgery.
Overall, dental implants are a safe and functional option to replace any missing or damaged teeth. An important part of the decision to get implant in the safest way possible is to get an experienced dentist because he or she will guide you to the best steps should any complication arise. We are a dental office located in Costa Rica with more than ten years’ experience in full mouth restorations and implants. We offer you a second chance for your teeth at an affordable price. Contact us for more information!