Having a dental implant procedure done is a great option if you are looking for an aesthetically pleasing and a more natural replacement for missing teeth. The implants act as artificial teeth that is anchored directly to the jawbone, a surgical operation that is not without a small chance of failing or developing complications later on. Here are some of the most common dental implant problems that may arise when getting dental implants:
1. Peri-Implantitis (Infection)
Bacteria may set in that leads to an infection during or after oral surgery if it is done without observing proper dental hygiene. The infection can also be caused by the dental cement that was used to secure the crowns into the abutments during cementation but got caught into the gums at one point. This condition is marked by inflammation of the gums, and usually the bone nearest the implant. Peri-Implantitis is a type of periodontal disease that causes implant failure and bone loss. The infection can be treated but in many situations the implant has to be removed. Peri-Implantitis affects patients with thin gums and those who do not practice regular oral hygiene, people with diabetes and smokers in particular.
Immediate loading can sometimes be done where the abutment and crown are put on the implant right after surgically inserting the post. While this normally should be done in two stages to allow time for the bone to fuse with the implant, then adding the components above the gums, the procedure can present more complications since the time for allowing integration is ignored. Overloading puts undue pressure on the protruding crown and/or abutment and may completely interfere with the osseointegration process.
3. Failed Osseointegration (Loose or Dislodged Implant)
Osseointegration is where a direct structural and functional connection is made between the implant and the patient’s bone. This process normally takes a few month’s time once the implant is installed. Failure happens when the jawbone does not entirely fuse with the implant, and the implant becomes loose, shows bone loss of 1mm after one year, or .2mm in two years, or if it falls out. There are many factors that cause this- an insufficient bone volume, sudden external impact, reaction to anesthesia, incorrect positioning, overloading or fractured implants. A patient must have a healthy density and volume of bone present in the jaw area, and they may avail of bone grafts or sinus lifts in order to qualify for a dental implant.
4. Tissue and Nerve Damage
One of the most uncommon dental implant problems is the damage in tissue where the implant resides in, or more specifically, the nerves. If an implant is installed too close to the nerves, patients are subject to chronic pain and a numbness or tingling in the gums, tongue, cheek, chin or lips. The damage to the nerve can either be permanent or temporary, and the implant might be removed. Tissue damage is considered normal after the first few days of invasive surgery, and sharp pain and bleeding is expected. If the pain becomes excessive, or if bleeding does not stop after a couple of days then immediate consultation should be done with your dentist.
5. Sinus Problems
Sinuses can be quite difficult if the implants are to be placed in the upper row. The presence of sinuses coupled with insufficient bone quantity in the upper jaws can lead to a challenging procedure. An oral surgeon can recommend a sinus augmentation, which lifts the bone into the sinus cavity to create space for a bone graft. Dental implant problems may arise when the implant goes into the sinus cavity, causing inflammation or infection. When this happens, a CT scan or an X-Ray can be utilized and corrective surgery performed to remedy the situation.
6. Other Causes and Risks
Rejection of Foreign Body- Invasive surgery is akin to organ transplants, and as such, the dental implant might be considered as a foreign object by the patient’s body and push it out in self-defense.
Allergic Reaction– Today’s implants are made of titanium alloy with traces of nickel, and it is unusual but there are some instances where patients react unpleasantly towards titanium in the form of inflammation and allergic reactions. Effects can range from CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) to persistent itchiness. The only way to find out if you are allergic to titanium is to take the MELISA test.
Implant Material Failure– It is also rare but there are some cases where the dental implant bends or breaks. An implant might develop a small crack or fracture when subject to considerable external forces, such as a sudden blow to the face, an unbalanced crown or a habit of grinding teeth.