It seems like more and more people are choosing dental implants over dentures. They reach this decision partly because of the longevity of the dentures and also because of the lack of extra daily work apart from regular brushing and flossing – unlike dentures which require overnight removal and soakings. There’s no learning curve with implants, while people have to adjust to speaking with dentures.
Another point in the favor of dental implants is that they act like a natural tooth. But as with nearly every procedure, no matter how seemingly routine they may seem to have become, there can be dangers
Yes, the technology and available medications have improved since the implant was first introduced, there are still complications to look out for after the tooth has been inserted.
The Implant May Get Loose
Before even considering the dental implant, the dentist will carefully examine the patient’s jaw to make sure that there is enough bone mass for the titanium screw to be inserted. This screw is supposed to fuse with jaw so that it can act as the replacement root for the tooth that is being inserted.
This part of the process is called osseointegration and it is a months-long process that can wind up with what is called failed osseointegration. One reason for this may be that there was too much time between the loss of the tooth and the attempt at the procedure, so that even what might have seemed like enough mass deteriorated further with the screw.
This can also lead to the implant possibly being too loose or falling out. Sometimes the dentist may have to splint the implant to other teeth to allow for adjustments. There is also a larger chance of error when the patient chooses same-day implants since the jaw will be in a constant state of flux
The Implant May Get Infected
Throughout the entire process, from the screws being put in to the insertion of the replacement tooth and beyond, the patient must follow all the instructions the dentist gives them. If they don’t, they face the worst-case scenario of an infection.
The patient needs to be very diligent with their day-to-day oral hygiene regimen. While they don’t have to devote time to scrubbing dentures every day, they can’t ignore brushing and flossing, especially in the area of the dental implant. Otherwise, there can be an infection and since it can be painless at first, it can rapidly worsen.
There May Be Nerve Damage
While the dentist will take ever possible precaution, including using X-rays, there is the possibility that the implant screw will hit a nerve or cause bleeding, causing tingling. If it is an implant in the front upper tooth area, it may accidentally go into the sinus cavity. These are rare but can happen.
The benefits of the implants far outweigh any risk – all it takes is following instructions and immediately going back to the dentist if there are issues.
Overall, a regular visitation with the dentist so that any changes can be fixed quickly or an alternative method found is the best way. Skipping these can be both disastrous and expensive.
The staff at Acadia Dental and Dentures, whether at their Hagerstown or Frederick locations, are very familiar with the dental implant process and know what to look out for. They gladly welcome questions – call them at either 301-797-2538 (Hagerstown) or 301-662-1760.