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You are wondering: are dental implants safe? With a success rate of 98% dental implants are considered a safe procedure and with good care, may last for the rest of your life after placement. As with all surgical procedures, however, implant surgery does carry with it a small degree of risk. Let’s take a closer look at the risks involved with dental implant surgery.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are small screws or artificial roots that are placed into your jawbone, to replace missing or damaged teeth. They are usually made from titanium which is a biocompatible metal. This means it is well tolerated by the body and unlikely to carry any side effects.

So Are Dental Implants Safe?

Dental implant surgery has been performed for more than 50 years, and the numbers of patients undergoing surgery every year are on the increase.

How safe are dental implants compared to other tooth replacement options?

When compared to dentures, dental implants do prevent further bone loss and shrinkage in the mouth, as they stimulate the gums. Unlike dentures, they do not sit above the gum line and pose the risk of harbouring bacteria, which can lead to tooth decay.

Compared to a bridge, dental implants do not weaken the surrounding teeth or make them more susceptible to decay.

Why Do Dental Implants Fail?

There are a few different reasons that an implant could fail. The most common cause of short-term failure is the implant’s failure to fuse with the bone. This process is called osseointegration. Factors like smoking, poor dental hygiene leading to infection or low bone density can interfere with the integration process. Short term complications will become evident in the months following your dental implant surgery. It will take your mouth a few months to heal after the implant surgery.

What Are The Symptoms Of Dental Implant Failure?

Some of the symptoms of dental implant failure include pain at the implant site, bleeding, movement of the implant fixture or bone loss. Your dentist may notice other symptoms, such as pus formation on an x-ray, which would indicate that the implant procedure has failed.

What risks are associated with dental implant surgery?

When working with an experienced professional your risk profile is mitigated but it is a good idea to be aware of the risks. This includes the possibility of nerve damage during the surgery, or the development of an infection at the surgery site.

What Complications Can Occur Over The Long Term?

The most common longer-term problem that presents with dental implant surgery is peri-implantitis. This is a chronic gum infection that often extends into the bone that supports the implant. The condition can be managed with more frequent visits to your dentist, antibiotics and surgeries.

Your dentist will assess your eligibility for dental implant surgery to see if you are a candidate. You will need to have healthy gums and good bone density to qualify for implant surgery. It will also be advantageous if you are a non-smoker.

If you have metal filings in your mouth it is possible for the titanium of your implant to interact with the metal in your fillings, in a process known as galvanic corrosion.

If you have uncontrolled chronic conditions such as diabetes or a condition that affects your body’s ability to heal itself, your dentist will probably recommend a different tooth replacement option for you.

Still have questions about are dental implants safe and whether you are a candidate for implant surgery? Speak to us.