Considered to be one of the most predictable tooth replacements available, when performed by an experienced professional, dental implants are up to 95% successful. If your dental practitioner has recommended implants to you, you are probably wondering ‘are dental implants safe’. Like all other surgeries, dental implants do carry some degree of risk but if you are an eligible candidate, the chances are that you will be able to enjoy this permanent tooth replacement.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a screw that is surgically embedded into the gum, onto which an extension and dental crown are affixed after a period of healing or osseo-integration. Dental implants are considered to be the gold standard of tooth replacements because they are permanent and prevent further bone and gum loss from occurring.
Are Dental Implants Safe?
Like all surgical procedures, dental implant surgery does carry some degree of risk with it but the good news is that your dental practitioner will manage some of this risk on your behalf. Because they have been used for decades and much testing has been done on implants, patients who fall in the following categories will likely be encouraged to consider alternate tooth replacement procedures:
- Patients with diabetes
- Patients with compromised immunity
- Patients with gum disease
- Patients who suffer from conditions that inhibit the body’s ability to heal itself
Some of the more common complications that can occur during or after dental implants include:
- Infection at the implant site
- Nerve damage
- Sinus problems
- Damage to the surrounding structures
Infection At The Implant Site
Infection of the implant site or peri-implantitis is caused by bacteria that get into the gum, usually during dental implant surgery. This can happen if the implant is not placed correctly and there is a space between the gum and the implant. It may also occur if a decayed tooth is removed and some of the decayed matter is left behind when the implant is placed.
In many cases, the infection is contained within the gum and can be cleared up with a course of antibiotics. In some instances, however, the infection can go much deeper and may affect the jaw bone. In these cases the implant usually has to be removed, antibiotics administered and a period of healing will need to take place before the implant can be reinserted.
Nerve and sinus damage, as well as damage to the surrounding structures, can be avoided or minimised when you work with an experienced professional. It is worth asking your dental practitioner how often they perform dental implant procedures and what their professional rate of dental implant failure is before you move forward with dental implant surgery.
Minimising Your Chance Of Complications After Dental Implant Surgery
Make sure you follow your dental practitioner’s advice before, during and after dental implant surgery to minimise your chances of complications. Quit smoking, keep your mouth clean and do not touch the surgical site, especially in the 24 hours after your implant has been placed.
If you still have questions about ‘are dental implants safe’, it is time to speak to a professional. Please call us for an appointment: (03) 5749 1208.