Recently, dental implants have gained in popularity. A good amount of people are getting them rather than dentures. They like the fact that the implants are durable and can last more than twice as long as the other option. Another thing on the plus side for implants is that wearers just have to brush and floss their teeth as normal – no need to soak them overnight. The implant acts like a normal tooth, so there’s no learning curve when it comes to talking and eating.
Over that span of time, dentists have done more and more implants and have gotten the success rate very high, up to 95%. It’s almost routine. That doesn’t mean that it’s 100% safe. Like any other procedure, people need to look out for any possible negative side effects and have them quickly fixed.
Having the crown put onto the abutment is not the end of the whole dental implant process. There are still things that you need to watch out for. Here are some things that can happen with dental implants.
The Implant Can Loosen Over Time
One of the main criteria to even be a candidate to get a dental implant is to have plenty of bone mass in your jaw. That’s because the dentist or specialist will be inserting a titanium screw into it and then having the two fuse. This is called osseointegration and the screw acts like a root for the replacement tooth. It can take weeks or months for the whole thing to occur.
Even if there was initially enough mass, sometimes the procedure fails due to too much time between the lost tooth and the osseointegration attempt, and the jaw kept losing mass while the fusing process was underway. So the jawbone can no longer hold the screw and thus the replacement tooth will not stay in without the dentist doing something like splinting the implant to other teeth. This is something that needs to be monitored for people who get same-day implants. What happens here is that the teeth are removed and the implants put in… but your jawbone can change while the healing process is underway.
Infection is a Possibility
The dentist will do all parts of the procedure in a sterile environment. After each part, you will have to follow the instructions that the dentist gives. That includes when to brush your teeth, what to eat, and how to keep the area clean. If you don’t follow what you’re told, then you can have an infection, which can set you back a great deal.
First of all, you need to stick very closely to the day-to-day oral hygiene regiment that you’re given. Don’t ignore brushing or flossing your teeth. While you don’t have to do extra work like you might do with dentures, ignoring this can be very bad. Worse yet, the infection may be painless, so you may miss critical time that you could use to turn things back around before things worsen – which can rapidly cause a lot more issues and dental work.
Nerve Damage Can Occur
Your dentist will take every precaution to prevent this from happening, taking X-Rays and carefully positioning the screw. Still, there is a chance that the screw will wind up hitting a nerve in your jaw or cause some bleeding. If you’re getting an implant in the upper part of your jaw, then the screw could possibly go into your sinus cavity by mistake. It’s rare, but it could happen.
The vast majority of patients find these risks are worth taking to get the durability and ease-of-use that the implants offer. If you are good at following instructions and are not hesitant to go back to the dentist if you feel anything is amiss, then you will be fine.
Basically, once you have the implant in place, you should stick to a regular visitation schedule with your dentist, just like regular cleanings. He or she will check out the state of your implant and make any changes that you need. Not doing this 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 (Frederick).
Acadia Dental and Dentures
1303 Pennsylvania Ave.
Hagerstown, MD 21740
Phone: (301) 797-2538
490 Prospect Blvd.
Frederick, MD 21701
Phone: (301) 662-1760