Risks and Complications
As with all medical and surgical procedures, dental implantation and its associated procedures carry some risk. Many factors can increase the risk for dental implant failure.
Our careful approach, expertise and best-practice procedures can reduce the risks associated with dental implants by 95 to 98 percent.
Our Risk Mitigation Steps
- Thoroughly assessing each patient’s health and needs.
- Identifying and managing health and behavioural issues before starting any implant treatment.
- Investing a diligent amount of time and effort on implant planning, placement and restoration.
- Using quality material from reputable manufacturers.
- Using the best, and staying current with, implant technologies and surgical techniques.
Dental implants involve surgical procedures and carry the normal risks of surgery including:
- Excessive bleeding.
- Injury to structures such as nerves and the maxillary sinus.
- Breakdown of the gum flap covering the implant after its placement.
- Lack of primary stability of the implant.
The common post-surgery side effects associated with dental implant surgery are:
- Some pain, discomfort and swelling are likely and should last about a week or so. We will advise on painkillers you can use.
- Some swelling is likely to occur around the surgical site. These will last for three or so days.
Failure to Osseointegrate
An implant is tested between eight and 24 weeks to determine if it has integrated with the jaw bone. Such failures are rare, particularly if the practitioner’s instructions are followed closely by the patient.
There is significant variation in integration failure rates due to individual risk factors.
The immediate placement of an implant after trauma or extraction may lead to a higher failure rate.
More often, osseointegration failure occurs when a patient does not maintain proper dental hygiene, or engages in habits such as smoking, drug use and high alcohol consumption.
Persistent Infection, Instability and Other Problems
An implant may need to be removed if there is persistent infection at the surgical site, loosening implant posts, nerve impingement, or if the implant punctured a sinus cavity, nose, or sublingual space.
If the underlying problem can be corrected, the patient may become a candidate for implants in the future after the oral cavity has returned to health.
Long-term failures generally occur because of poor bone density, bone and gingival loss around the implant due to peri-implantitis (inflammation of the tissue around the implant) or the mechanical failure of the implant.
Risks associated with aesthetics are gingival quality and missing papillae, and difficulty in matching the look of the existing teeth.
Functional / Biomechanical Failure
Concentrated or uneven forces can result in fracturing of the bridgework, implant components, or the loss of bone adjacent to the implant.
Functional risks can come from new points of contact, where the geometry of the implants no longer supports the teeth in the same way as the original natural teeth.
Functional failures can also come from teeth grinding, which increases the force placed on the implants. Habits such as grinding needs to be considered and managed.
Medical conditions such as mental illness, periodontal disease, or disorders like Pica can contribute to implant failure.
Some medication, such as osteoporosis treatments, can affect bone metabolism and thus the initial and ongoing osseointegration of the implant.
The implants themselves can fail due to fatigue fracture or some other defect.
We use uniquely identifiable implants from reputable manufacturers to manage this unlikely event.