Dental implant treatment typically has a success rate of 95% or higher. Treatment success relies on good implant planning, accurate placement using the correct implant system for the patient’s needs, and good ongoing aftercare. However, even when all these factors are met, there is always a small risk of dental implant problems.
Possible dental implant complications can include the following:
Poor implant location
This is a condition similar to gum disease, a bacterial infection that can occur months or even years after implant placement. The tissues around the implant become inflamed, swollen, and painful. There might be a nasty taste or pus around the implant, or it could even start to feel loose.
Usually, peri-implantitis is due to poor oral hygiene, allowing oral bacteria to build up around the implants and just below the gumline. Other risk factors include smoking, having uncontrolled diabetes, and problems affecting the immune system. It is more likely to occur if the implant restorations are poorly fitting.
It is vital to maintain excellent oral hygiene after implant treatment and to remain aware of any changes to your dental health. If you notice any inflammation around the dental implants, seek professional dental care quickly.
It is sometimes possible to reverse the early signs of peri-implantitis by professionally cleaning around the implant and using antimicrobial mouthwash or gels. Surgical therapy might be needed to remove severely infected gum tissue or to restore bone destroyed by this disease.
It is rare for an implant to have a biomechanical failure, but implant components can occasionally break. This might occur if the implant is improperly positioned and is subject to excessive biting and chewing forces. It might also occur if you clench and grind your teeth and have not received treatment for this problem.
Avoiding Biomechanical Failure
It is sometimes possible to replace implant components when they fail, provided they are from reputable manufacturers. Implant components from the top implant manufacturers are also less likely to fail as they are extensively and rigorously researched and tested.
Riverside Oral Surgery only uses top-quality dental implant components from reputable manufacturers. It is unlikely that an implant component would fail, but if it does, we keep complete records of the implants used during your treatment and, where possible, can order replacements.
It may be a different story if you have generic implant components. These are less likely to have undergone the same level of research and development. Identifying these components can be trickier so they can be replaced. It might be necessary to replace the entire dental implant, which could mean removing it and allowing the bone and gum to heal before inserting a new dental implant.
Sometimes, an implant post can fail relatively soon after placement due to poor osseointegration, so the post does not become firmly fused in the bone. This is rare when an implant is inserted correctly and surrounded by an adequate amount of strong, healthy bone with which to bond.
Also, the surfaces of implant posts are often specially treated to encourage osseointegration. It is more likely to occur if insufficient bone or the jawbone is too weak to fully support the implant. If an implant is loaded with a new prosthesis too soon after placement, so it comes under excessive stress and is likely to move, then osseointegration can fail.
Avoiding Osseointegration Failure
Our experienced dental implant dentists ensure that implants are only placed in locations where there is enough bone for osseointegration to occur and will recommend a bone graft if there is inadequate bone available. We take tremendous care when reviewing patients for dental implant treatment, including your medical history, in case any factors could interfere with osseointegration or contraindicate this treatment.
Poor Implant Location
Accurately placing a dental implant is incredibly important. It must not be located too close to nerves or blood vessels and surrounded by enough bone for osseointegration. If an implant is placed improperly, it could damage the sinus cavities. This can occur when replacing upper back teeth.
The sinus cavities are air-filled spaces just above these teeth, and the bone here is naturally thinner and weaker, so good implant placement is critical. If an implant is placed too close to a nerve, it could cause temporary or, more rarely, permanent numbness or pain.
The implant must also be positioned for optimal restoration, so the final prosthesis looks good, feels natural and comfortable, and offers good functionality. When a dental implant isn’t in quite the right place, it can be difficult to fabricate a prosthesis that combines comfort, appearance, and functionality. Often, it is a compromise, so the implant prosthesis won’t look as good or function as well as it should.
Ensuring Implants are Positioned Optimally
All our implant treatments are planned and placed using computer-guided surgery, helping to eliminate the risk of situating a dental implant improperly. This process helps ensure that treatment is more successful. We use a computer-generated surgical stent during implant placement, accurately replicating your treatment plan and greatly reducing the risk of possible errors.
Using digital planning techniques also allows us to evaluate the form and function of the final prosthesis, ensuring it looks good and functions well so you can eat and smile confidently and in complete comfort. We always aim to meet or hopefully exceed your treatment expectations.
All oral surgery carries a small level of risk that is impossible to eliminate entirely. However, using the most advanced technologies and techniques, combined with thorough patient evaluation before treatment, helps ensure these risks are minimal.