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Potential Risks of Dental Implants


Dental implants have a consistently high long-term success rate, especially when compared to other types of restorations. However, all surgeries pose some degree of risk. The best way to minimize potential dental implant risks is to select a reputable, experienced implant dentist. During your initial consultation, you dentist can discuss the potential risks associated with dental implant placement, such as implant failure and infection, as well as the benefits the procedure offers. Using this information, you can make an educated decision about whether the treatment option is right for you.

dental consultation

It is important to discuss the risks and benefits of dental implants during a consultation.

The best way to minimize potential dental implant risks is to select a reputable, experienced implant dentist who uses high-quality materials.

Temporary Side Effects

Most patients will experience some temporary discomfort and other side effects after dental implant surgery. These symptoms are usually brief, lasting about two weeks. Some, such as speech issues, simply require a period of adjustment to your new restoration. Other typical post-operative side effects include minor bleeding for about the first 24 hours, swelling, and bruising.

Patients can minimize bleeding by keeping their head upright and limiting activity for the first few days. In general, swelling fades after about 48 hours, though bruising may persist for a longer period of time. You can apply moist heat to the affected areas to soothe bruising and swelling. Most patients manage pain using over-the-counter medications, though your dentist may prescribe a pain reliever if necessary.

dental implants

Dental implants have a high success rate. However, some patients experience temporary side effects or implant failure.

Implant Failure

In some cases, patients will experience implant failure after placement. Smoking, uncontrolled diabetes, osteoporosis, excessive alcohol consumption, and significant radiation exposure to the head and neck can all increase the risk of failure. Causes for implant removal include:

  • Persistent infection at the surgical site
  • Loosening of implant posts
  • Nerve impingement
  • Implant puncture of the sinuses

Severe issues after dental implant placement are rare. Usually, the problems that arise following surgery are minor and easily treatable. In the rare chance an implant does fail, your dentist may be able to insert a replacement post after addressing the underlying cause of your condition.

Reducing Your Risks

Having an honest discussion about your risk factors and health concerns with your dentist can reduce the risk of implant failure and other issues. You should disclose your complete medical history, including medications, to your dentist during your initial consultation. Using this information, your dentist can identify potential issues and create a personally tailored treatment plan. Precise planning is crucial to the success of your implants.

Another important factor that contributes to implant fusion is the materials used during the procedure. Your dentist should use only trusted, high-quality materials for the implant post, abutment, and crown or other restoration. While lower quality materials may save money initially, they can increase your risk of implant failure.

Following post-operative instructions can also help minimize side effects and other potential risks. Your dentist will provide you with detailed instructions, which will include medications to take during the recovery period. Resting, drinking plenty of water, and practicing proper oral hygiene have all been shown to speed recovery and protect the treatment site.

Choose a Skilled Dentist

One of the most effective methods for reducing your dental implant risks is choosing a dentist with the training and experience to properly perform the surgery. For most patients, the benefits of this advanced tooth replacement method far outweigh the risk of complications. Be sure to thoroughly discuss the advantages and disadvantages, as well as your candidacy for dental implant treatment, with your dentist before reaching a decision.

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