Dental implants are designed to permanently replace one or a few missing teeth and are a common alternative to fixed dentures or dental bridges. Dental implants can be anchored directly into your jawbone, which makes them a more convenient and aesthetically pleasing solution. Just like any surgical procedure, dental implant surgery has several factors that can lead to health problems or even complete failure of the treatment.
Keep on reading to discover the five most common dental implant problems and how to prevent them.
1. Failed osseointegration
Osseointegration is the proper connection of an implant with your jawbone. This process takes several months and is necessary for the success of your implant. Failed osseointegration means that your implant has failed to connect with your jawbone. This problem can occur due to numerous causes including lack of jawbone density and volume, broken implant, incorrect positioning, overloading, and mouth injury. A failed implant can shifts, fall out, or lead to deterioration in the underlying bone. You can prevent failed osseointegration and associated tooth implant problems by taking prescribed antibiotics, practicing proper dental hygiene, avoiding smoking and alcohol consumption.
Peri-implantitis is an inflammation of gum tissues that surround the dental implant. Poor dental hygiene during post-surgery recovery can lead to the onset of this condition. Peri-implantitis can also occur due to the escape of dental cement that is used to fix the crown onto the abutments. Escaped dental cement can get caught in your gums, leading to inflammation. Common risk factors for peri-implantitis include smoking, diabetes, osteoporosis, and bruxism. Infection around your implant can be treated with antibiotics, antiseptics, and laser procedures. However, severe cases of peri-implantitis require removing an affected dental implant.
3. Tissue and nerve damage
In rare cases, dental implant problems may occur due to damaged tissues and nerves that surround it. An improperly placed dental implant can pressure the nerve in your jawbone, leading to recurring pain, loss of sensation, and tingling in cheeks, gums, tongue, chin, or lips.
In case of chronic pain, your dental implant must be removed to allow proper treatment. The most common culprit of tissue and nerve damage is a mistake made by an inexperienced dental specialist.
As with any invasive treatment, minor tissue damage may occur during dental implant surgery. Minor bleeding and soreness are normal for few days after the surgery. However, if these symptoms are continuous or get worse with time, you should consult a dental specialist immediately.
4. Sinus problems
Sinuses can cause major problems for dental implants that replace teeth in the upper jaw. Both presence of the sinuses and lack of bone density and volume in the upper back jaw make dental implant surgeries in this area difficult. A sinus graft procedure may be required to develop a proper bone foundation for a dental implant. This procedure involves lifting the lower sinus membrane and installing a bone graft to support a dental implant. In rare cases, an implant can protrude into the sinus cavity, leading to infection. A CT scan or X-ray can easily identify this problem and corrective surgical treatment can fix it.
Traditional dental surgery consists of two stages to guarantee that the implant connects with the jawbone before installing dental restoration on top of it. In some cases, a dental specialist may choose to perform immediate loading during dental implant surgery. The immediate loading technique involves the placement of the artificial tooth right after the installation of a dental implant. If not causing problems, overloading allows a shorter treatment process, faster recovery, and less postoperative care. However, this one-stage procedure can lead to complications like failed osseointegration because it doesn’t allow the implant to properly integrate into the jawbone.