With a 95% success rate, dental implants are considered safe for eligible patients. Asking ‘are dental implants safe?’ is reasonable too though, because as with any kind of surgery, dental implant surgery may carry some risk of side effects and complications. Those instances are rare and, through a thorough screening and pre-surgical eligibility check your Good Choice dentist can ensure you manage the risk.
Dental Implant History
Dental implants have been in use since the 1960s and the technology driving them has only improved over time. As they have become more widely used, their benefits over other tooth replacements like dentures and bridges have become more apparent.
What Are The Risks Associated With Dental Implant Surgery?
The majority of risks associated with dental implant procedures are related more to the surgery than the implant itself. Dental implants are made from titanium (and in some cases zirconia) which is a biocompatible material.
Side effects and problems are rare, and may include:
Incorrect placement of dental implants could result in nerve damage that causes tingling, numbness or pain in the structures of your mouth.
Problems with the sinuses
Digital imaging is important to assist your dentist in placing the implant correctly. If it is inaccurately placed in the upper jaw, it is possible to penetrate the sinus cavities.
Infection is largely in the hands of the patient, and the onus is on you to ensure you practice meticulous dental hygiene and avoid infection.
Injuries to blood vessels and the surrounding teeth are also possible risks of dental implant procedures.
The Importance Of Working With An Experienced Dental Practitioner
An experienced dental practitioner will ensure that you meet all eligibility criteria before moving ahead with dental implant treatment.
This is important because dental implants are not ideal for all patients, and certain patients pose a much higher degree of risk of dental implant failure.
Patients Who May Experience Adverse Side Effects
Patients who have other types of metal in their mouths – for example gold or silver fillings may experience something called galvanic toxicity with dental implants. This is a reaction between the two types of metal, and it may cause an uncomfortable electric charge.
People who are allergic to titanium may experience a reaction with titanium implants. Zirconia implants may be a better option in some cases.
Patients with auto-immune diseases are also at a higher risk of complications from dental implants. You would need to discuss your condition with your dentist and come to a decision you are both comfortable with.
Are Dental Implants Safe For Patients With Diabetes?
Studies do indicate that patients with diabetes are not at higher risk of complications during dental implant surgery, and should be able to proceed safely with dental implants.
The Importance Of Using High Quality Dental Implants
Using high quality, robust dental implants and working with a suitably qualified and experienced dental practitioner influences your prospects of a successful outcome.
The reason for this is your dental implants (like your teeth) need to withstand a lot of pressure during biting and chewing. They need to feel comfortable and natural while eating, and be able to manage bite pressure.
Implant corrosion is what happens when your dental implants starts to wear away over time. This is not very comfortable and usually is an indication that your implant needs to be replaced. A high quality implant should have a longer lifespan and be less likely to corrode.
Is Bone Grafting Safe?
Thanks to the process of bone grafting, patients who have bone loss may also benefit from dental implants. By taking bone material from a different part of your body, your dental practitioner can help to stimulate the growth of new bone, and create a dense enough foundation to support dental implants.
Bone grafting does require a separate surgery which introduces the risk of infection. Any time an incision is made, the prospect of bacteria getting into the site is present, but can be managed by an experienced dentist.
Side Effects After The Procedure
Because surgery is involved, there are some minor side effects to be expected after dental implant surgery. The most commonly experienced side effects include
- Minor bleeding
- Swelling and bruising of your face and gums
- Discomfort at the surgical site
You can manage these side effects with anti-inflammatory medication. An ice pack held to the outside of your face can help to reduce swelling and bleeding can be managed by biting down onto a piece of gauze.
Still have questions about are dental implants safe? It’s always best to speak to a professional. Please contact us for a convenient appointment: (02) 8203 8760.