Dental implants are safe restorations with few risks. The procedure has a very high success rate, and there are few potential complications that are considered “common.” Most complications are avoidable if you follow proper planning and work with an experienced implant dentist.
The best way to learn about what potential complications are relevant to your dental implant procedure is to talk to us in person. Please call (702) 873-0324 for an appointment with a Summerlin implant dentist at the office of Dr. James B. Polley.
Peri-Implantitis: a Common Complication
The most common complication of dental implants is peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis is similar to periodontitis, gum disease. It’s an infection of the gums and bone around a dental implant, the way periodontitis is an infection around your natural teeth. Some studies show that peri-implantitis may be present in as much as 45% of all dental implant patients. This is not surprising, considering that about half of all American adults have gum disease, and that many people have dental implants placed after losing one or more teeth to gum disease.
This is not to say that peri-implantitis shouldn’t be taken seriously. It’s the most common cause of dental implant failure, accounting for about 40% of all failures in long-term studies. But proper care and maintenance of your dental implants can help reduce your risk of peri-implantitis.
Preventable Complications in Planning or Procedure
Many other dental implant complications are preventable. Often, it’s poor planning or errors during placement that cause problems. These may affect the appearance, function, or longevity of dental implants.
Some complications that may be related to poor planning include:
- Implant angled improperly
- Improper spacing between implants and teeth
- Poor coverage of implant by gums and bone
Dentists who aren’t well trained in the proper planning of implant procedures are more likely to make these mistakes. The first two problems can be addressed with properly designed restorations, although restorations that look good and are functional at first may suffer from the improper angulation.
It’s harder to correct poor coverage of implants. Chao Pinhole Surgery ®, which can help restore receding gums around natural teeth, can’t be used on dental implants. A prosthesis can be designed to cover the area, but it may not look as natural as desired.
Complications that may occur during the dental implant procedure include:
- Implant breaking through bone unexpectedly
- Damaged bone around implant
- Poor implant stability
Again, these complications are more likely if you are working with an implant dentist who is not as trained or experienced in the procedure.
Complications That Affect More Than Your Implant
Although most complications only impact your dental implants, there are some whose effects can be more widespread. These can include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Damage to neighboring teeth
- Sinus perforation
- Broken jaw
- Nerve injury
In general, these effects are rare, and working with an experienced and highly trained dentist will reduce the risks even further.
Protect Yourself from Complications
There are many things you can do to protect yourself from complications. These include:
- Make sure you’re a good candidate for the procedure
- Carefully choose your implant dentist
- Insist that the treatment area receive proper imaging
- Ask questions
- Follow all postoperative instructions
- Communicate with your dentist at the first sign of complications
To learn more about getting a successful dental implant procedure in Summerlin, please call (702) 873-0324 for an appointment at the office of Dr. James B. Polley.