Risks of Having Dental Implants
All oral surgeries carry a small level of risk, and implant treatment is no exception. A high level of skill and training is needed to plan and place dental implants correctly.
Dental implant complications can arise because of a loss of integration, where osseointegration hasn’t occurred, where an implant is located or positioned incorrectly or if there are soft tissue defects created by missing gum tissue. Implant complications can develop because of biomechanical failures where an implant component fractures.
Usually, the level of risk greatly increases when a dental implant is poorly planned and placed or is not placed by a specialist, or when the proper diagnostic tests aren’t carried out.
Also, without computer guided surgery, a surgical stent isn’t created, and a dental implant dentist is less able to identify the correct location for the implant.
Most dental implant problems are preventable with proper treatment planning and placement. Other dental implant complications can arise months or even years after implant placement. For example, while a dental implant infection may develop quite quickly after placement, an infection like peri-implantitis can develop years afterward and is most often due to poor oral hygiene and a lack of ongoing preventative oral care.
How Can Poor Planning and Placement Cause Dental Implant Problems?
Inadequate planning can affect every aspect of dental implant treatment, and initially, implant dentists must assess every patient very carefully for suitability for treatment.
Factors that can increase the risk of dental implant failure include: smoking, having a history of periodontal disease, having poorly controlled diabetes, and when implants are incorrectly loaded or are loaded too soon after surgery.
People who clench or grind their teeth are less suitable for implant surgery, and this problem, called bruxism, must be treated before dental implants are placed successfully. Not everyone is suitable for implant surgery, and you must be honest when discussing your medical and dental history with your implant dentist.
Contraindications For Implant Treatment
- Radiotherapy to the jaw bone
- Untreated intraoral pathology or malignancy
- Untreated periodontal disease
- Uncontrolled drug or alcohol use (abuse)
- Uncontrolled psychiatric disorders
- Recent myocardial infarction (MI) or cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or valvular prosthesis surgery
- Intravenous bisphosphonate (anti-resorptive) therapy
- Immunosuppression – for example following organ transplant or treatment of systemic disease
- Inability to maintain high levels of plaque control (e.g. reduced manual dexterity or mental capacity)
Using the Right Technologies Is Critical
Not every dentist uses the correct diagnostic technologies when planning implants, and this can make a tremendous difference to the outcome of treatment. Failing to take a cone beam CT scan or a 3-D image of the jaws significantly increases the risk of implant problems.
A 3-D image provides invaluable information used during planning and placing dental implants. For example, it allows Dr. Leonard Umanoff to assess the quality and quality of your jawbone more fully, ensuring there is enough bone to support your dental implants properly.
If there isn’t enough bone, a 3-D image identifies areas where it is deficient and where bone grafting is necessary.
Ensuring Dental Implants Are Placed Correctly
Your jawbone contains important structures like nerves, blood vessels, and sinus cavities, all of which must be avoided during implant surgery. Without a 3-D view of your jaws, it’s far trickier to identify the optimal location for each implant. Not only must the structures be avoided, but it’s also critical to consider the angulation and depth of each implant. When an implant is placed incorrectly or is angled improperly, it is nearly impossible to restore it correctly.
Consequently, the final restoration may not provide optimal aesthetics or functionality and can compromise on one or both of these factors. Locating the implants improperly also increases the risk of implant failure once they are loaded. The dental implants must be situated in such a way to ensure the pressure created when you bite or chew food is spread evenly as otherwise, it could eventually cause implant components to fracture or fail, or there is the risk that your dental implant could fail to bond with your jawbone strongly.
Using Computer Guided Surgery to Avoid Dental Implant Problems
Not every dentist will use a stent to place dental implants. A stent is a surgical guide or template used during computer guided surgery, and it is created from your computer designed treatment plan. A surgical guide literally guides your implant dentist during oral surgery, ensuring each implant is placed at exactly the precise location and angulation identified in your treatment plan. It’s a technique that helps to eliminate errors, and it’s more comfortable for patients, ensuring the time spent in surgery is as quick and as smooth as possible.
Choosing a Dental Implant Specialist Is Critical
If you want to enjoy a successful implant treatment, it’s critical to make sure you choose a dental implant specialist. When you don’t choose a specialist and instead opt for a dentist with limited experience or skill in placing implants, the risk of problems is far greater. They won’t have the experience needed to know when to use a specific implant system and how best to utilize available bone for dental implants. Also, they are less likely to have experience in creating functional and beautiful dental implant teeth, and incorrectly placing implants makes this task even trickier.
It’s impossible to eliminate all risks of implant failure, but an experienced implant provider can do a great deal to reduce these risks.
Highly trained and experienced dental implant dentists have a success rate of at least 95% and sometimes as high as 98%.
Patient compliance is important too. Without the proper ongoing maintenance that includes excellent daily oral hygiene and ongoing preventative dental checkups and hygiene appointments, there is a real risk of peri-implantitis, a dental implant infection that can cause implant failure.