First of all, a dental implant is an artificial tooth root made of titanium that is placed inside the jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge.
The problems that dental implants can cause might happen in two different times: during the surgery and after the surgery. Here we’re going to explain the two types of problems and the possible solution.
Problems that might happen during the surgery:
Damages to the nerves- The implantation is a simple, not painful and short procedure, but like in every other surgery there is always a risk for something to go wrong. As we said earlier a dental implant is an artificial titanium root that needs to be placed deep into the jaw. So the dental surgeon has to make a hole into your jaw to insert the implant. During these procedures due to different factors, like not enough bone tissue caused by long absence of the natural teeth, the surgeon might go to deep in the jaw and go near the mandibular nerve. It is the biggest nerve in the lower jaw (mandible) that innervates the lower teeth, gingiva, muscle of mastication, lower lip chin etc.
If the dentist only touched it a little or compressed it when he inserted the implant, you might feel some loss of sensitivity in the tissues mentioned earlier. But after some time everything will go back to normal and you are slowly going to feel a little tingling in the lip and chin until you get back all the sensitivity. The time in which you will get your sensitivity back depends on how extensive was the damage to the nerve.
If the dentist cutted the nerve all the way through then the damage is irreversible and you lost the sensitivity to the area forever and there is nothing you could do to repair it.
Damages to the bone around the dental implant- Another problem that also happens due to lack of bone thickness is the fracture or perforation of the bone walls surrounding the implant. If the damage isn’t big it can be controlled using bone grafts. But if the damage is important then it may lead to loss of the implant and you need to wait another 4 months to do the procedure again.
Damages to the blood vessels- Other than damaging the nerve the dental surgeon might cut an artery or vein when doing the incision in the soft tissue and cause a little hemorrhage, and later on a hematoma. Controlling the hemorrhage is something that very easily can be done by an experienced dental surgeon without you even noticing it. The only thing is that a hematoma might appear depending on the size of the artery or vein that was cutted and you might feel a little pain after the effect of the anesthetic has vanished. But nothing serious that can’t be solved with an ant inflammatory pill.
Sinus problems- They might happen when placing implants to deep in the upper jaw. This might lead to sinusitis that will need a serious treatment like antibiotics, even surgery and probably will cause failure of the dental implant.
Damages to the teeth near the dental implant- When creating the site for the dental implant, the surgeon might touch the root of the teeth nearby with his instruments, causing problems like sensitivity or even pain. If these happens the sensitivity might stop spontaneously or these teeth maybe will need root canal treatment to stop the pain
Problems after surgery
Problem after surgery most commonly depend from osseointegration with the bone. This means the bond of the dental implant with the jaw bone. This inability to osseointegrate properly, depends from different factors like:
Dental implant infection – This means accumulation of the bacteria around the surface of the dental implant. When the osseointegration doesn’t happen properly than a pocket is created similar to a periodontal pocket where bacteria accumulate causing the infection and after some time the loss of the implant.
Smoking- Risk of failure is increased significantly with smoking patients. This happens because of the chemical factor released by the cigarettes and by physical factor like high temperatures. It is most likely that your dentist will urge you to stop smoking before starting the dental implant procedure.
Patient’s physical condition/general health- Patients with good physical condition have higher rates of success than patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure or other conditions that can affect bone growth. And maybe first you should control these diseases and then have the surgery for dental implants.
Creation of areas with poor blood supply (ischemia)- If the dentist exercised a lot of pressure screwing the dental implant or he used very high speed equipment to create the site for the dental implant than he could create an area with poor blood supply so the possibility of osseointegration is diminished.
Immediate loading- In some cases is preferred to load the implants immediately after placing them, like in the cases where urgent esthetics is needed. But this might disturb the osseointegration process and cause dental implant failure. To avoid these over loadings, when putting the temporary crowns the dentist makes sure that there is no pressure applied to the implanted tooth and they are used just for their esthetics.
Poor dental hygiene- When the patient doesn’t take care of his oral hygiene his implant most likely will fail. An even better hygiene than the one for your natural teeth is needed for dental implants, so brush carefully after each meal, floss and use mouthwash every day.
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