Without a doubt, dental implants are a life-changing treatment. They help replace missing teeth completely, from root to crown. Unlike other tooth replacements, dental implants start in the jaw, allowing them to function as the roots and anchor new dental crowns securely in place.
This means you can get new teeth that look, feel, and work exactly like natural ones. Periodontists recommend dental implants for exactly this reason—to restore your ability to eat, talk, and smile confidently and without trouble.
However, like any periodontal treatment, dental implants also carry innate risks. For one, the process of getting dental implants consists of a series of surgeries that includes placing the implant in the jawbone, receiving a bone graft if needed, and attaching the new dental crown. Before going under for dental implant surgery, it’s important to know the risks, so you can make an informed decision.
Let’s find out about the risks of dental implants, and what both you and your periodontist in Oakville can do to mitigate them, so you can enjoy the benefits of a complete and healthy smile.
Before Getting Dental Implants: Are You a Good Candidate?
Dental implants are certainly life-changing. But unfortunately, they’re not right for everyone. To get dental implants, you need to be a candidate for this process. During your consultation, your periodontist can determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implants.
Your periodontist will review your full medical and dental history. They will also take x-rays to look at the structure of your mouth and even create impressions of your bite to find out if you have enough bone density so the jawbone can fuse with the implant; if not, you will need a bone graft, which is an additional procedure and extends the recovery time. These are the types of considerations that your periodontist will have to look out for.
Conditions that May Keep You from Getting Dental Implants
Generally, if you are in good health, your periodontist is likely to recommend a dental implant. However, if your periodontist finds that you have any of these conditions or lifestyle habits, your periodontist will recommend treatment or lifestyle change to avoid post-op complications and implant failure:
- Autoimmune diseases, allergies, and diabetes, which cause the implant to take longer to heal and fuse with the jawbone
- Medications can affect the ability of the jawbone around the implant to heal
- Osteoporosis or osteopenia results in lower bone density, which means you will need a bone graft prior to the implant being placed
- Gum disease, since you need healthy gums to support the teeth
- Tobacco use, since nicotine restricts blood flow and causes inflammation of gum tissue around the implant
- Chemotherapy and head or neck radiation, which weaken the bone structure and the lifespan of implants.
Risks of Dental Implants
Like any oral surgery, dental implants have a small risk of allergic reactions, bleeding, and infections. A highly skilled and experienced periodontist can minimize these risks by ensuring that you are a good candidate for the surgery and following through with your post-op care.
1. Numbness or tingling
This occurs when the dental implant is placed too close to the nerve. In some cases, it can result in pain or paresthesia in the surrounding tissues.
2. Inflammation and infection
Some surgeries cause swelling, fever, and chills. These are usually signs of infection or injury to the implant. It’s important to call your periodontist right away so they can treat these post-op complications and prevent them from worsening. Most often, your periodontist will prescribe antibiotics to treat an infection.
3. Implant failure
Implant failure can occur at two stages: early implant failure happens when the implant doesn’t fuse with the jawbone, while late implant failure happens when the implant initially attaches but becomes loose later on.
Dental implant surgery may affect other structures, such as remaining healthy teeth and gums. For instance, the maxillary sinus, inferior border, lingula plate, and other parts of the mouth can be perforated, leading to other oral health conditions. This can be avoided by an experienced periodontist’s surgical skill.
5. Implant breakage
While rare, a dental implant can break. This is a serious complication that your periodontist can fix by removing the fractured implant and replacing it. However, keep in mind that your jawbone may not be strong enough for a new implant right away, so you will need to recover first.
In contrast, if the abutment or device used to attach the dental crown to the implant breaks, your periodontist can replace it and the dental crown.
6. Bone loss
Finally, bone loss in the area of the dental implant can happen. This affects the stability of the implant. Similarly, if there is bone loss between the implants and natural teeth, black triangles can appear, making them difficult to clean. Your periodontist can detect bone loss during follow-up appointments, and treat it right away.
Prevent Dental Implant Risks with Your Periodontist in Oakville
Dental implants are most often a safe and successful replacement for missing teeth. However, this depends largely on the person you select to do the job. With a highly skilled and experienced periodontist, you can mitigate the common risks of dental implants, and ensure their long-term success.
At Periodontal Associates, you can trust that our team of periodontists in Oakville are skillful, knowledgeable, highly trained, and experienced. You can count on them to use the best techniques for dental implant surgery, with long-lasting results. They take the time to get your complete medical and dental history to identify and address risk factors, and develop a treatment plan that’s fully personalized to your needs.
Most importantly, they help you care for your dental implants and new teeth to avoid implant failure and damage. From follow-up appointments to cleanings and maintaining good oral hygiene, our periodontists in Oakville are here to ensure you enjoy all the lasting benefits of complete tooth replacement.
Are you getting dental implants but worried about the risks? Our team of periodontists in Oakville are here to explain the risks and what we’re doing to ensure the success of your treatment. Visit Periodontal Associates today.