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What Risks Are Associated With Dental Implants?
Salem, OR

Photo of dental implants from Fairmount Dental Center.If you are missing a tooth, instead of feeling self-conscious about the gap in your smile, why not opt for a dental implant? A dental implant can be described as a tiny, titanium post that fits neatly into your jawbone to replace your missing tooth root. Dental implants are a popular and long-lasting way to replace missing teeth.

Just like any other medical procedure, getting dental implants comes with a few potential downsides. It's important for patients considering dental implants to be aware of the potential complications:


Infection at the implant site is a possible complication, although it's relatively rare. This can occur during the initial surgical placement of the implant or later on if bacteria accumulate around the implant. Symptoms of infection may include swelling, pain, redness, and discharge from the implant site. Prompt treatment with antibiotics is necessary to prevent further complications.

Implant Failure

While dental implants have a high success rate, there is still a risk of implant failure. This can happen for various reasons, such as poor bone integration, insufficient bone density, or excessive forces on the implant. Implant failure may require the removal of the implant and possibly additional procedures to address underlying issues.

Bone Loss

In some cases, bone loss can occur around the dental implant, a condition known as peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis is a condition that affects the tissues surrounding a dental implant. Like periodontitis, which affects the tissues around natural teeth, peri-implantitis involves inflammation and infection of the gums and bone around the implant.

Usually, inadequate oral hygiene practices lead to the accumulation of plaque and bacteria around the implant, increasing the risk of peri-implantitis. Moreover, patients with a history of periodontal (gum) disease are at a higher risk of developing peri-implantitis. The bacteria associated with periodontitis can also affect the tissues around dental implants.

Nerve Damage

During the placement of dental implants, there is a risk of damaging nearby nerves, such as the inferior alveolar nerve in the lower jaw or the infraorbital nerve in the upper jaw. Nerve damage can result in numbness or tingling in the lips, chin, or cheeks. In most cases, nerve damage is temporary, but in rare instances, it can be permanent.

Sinus Problems (For Upper Jaw Implants)

Dental implants in the upper jaw, particularly in the back teeth region, may protrude into the sinus cavity. If the sinus membrane is perforated during implant placement, it can lead to sinus infections or sinusitis. Your dentist will take precautions to avoid damaging the sinus membrane during surgery.

Implant Mobility

Sometimes, the dental implant may become loose or mobile after placement. This can occur due to inadequate bone support, unnecessary forces on the implant, or implant failure. Successful dental implant placement relies on osseointegration, the process by which the implant fuses with the surrounding bone. If osseointegration fails to occur or is compromised, the implant may not achieve sufficient stability within the bone. In cases where implant mobility is detected, it's essential to consult with your dentist promptly to determine the appropriate course of action.

Allergic Reactions

While rare, some people might experience allergic reactions to the materials used in dental implants, such as titanium or certain types of metal alloys. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include swelling, rash, or itching around the implant site. Alternative materials can be considered for patients with known metal allergies.

Gum Recession

In some cases, the gums around the dental implant may recede over time, exposing the underlying implant components, such as the abutment or crown. Gum recession can compromise the aesthetics of implant restoration and may require additional treatment, such as gum grafting.

When a dental implant fails, it often results in bone and soft tissue loss, including gum recession. Gum grafting can help improve the aesthetics of the implant site, enhance the stability of adjacent teeth, and prepare the area for future implant placement if desired.

Implant Fracture or Breakage

Although rare, dental implants can fracture or break, especially if subjected to excessive forces, such as teeth grinding or trauma. Factors such as poor implant design or manufacturing defects can also contribute to implant failure. In such cases, the implant may need to be replaced surgically.

Bone Health and Quantity

Bone Density

Adequate bone density is necessary to support dental implants. If you have experienced bone loss in the jaw due to tooth loss or other factors, bone grafting procedures may be required to augment the bone before implant placement.

Oral Hygiene and Maintenance

Commitment to Oral Hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for the long-term success of dental implants. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups are necessary to prevent complications such as peri-implantitis and ensure the longevity of your implants.

Lifestyle Factors

Consider how lifestyle factors such as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption may impact the success of dental implant treatment. Smoking, in particular, is associated with an increased risk of implant failure and complications.

Long-Term Value

While the upfront cost of dental implants may be higher than other tooth replacement options, they offer long-term value and durability. Consider the lifetime maintenance and replacement cost compared to alternative treatments such as dental bridges dentures.

While dental implants are designed to be a permanent solution for missing teeth, they still require regular maintenance and monitoring. Patients with dental implants should maintain good oral hygiene practices, including brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups, to ensure the long-term success of their implants.

Your smile is one of your most valuable assets, and taking care of it is essential for your overall health and well-being. From routine check-ups to advanced procedures, Fairmount Dental Center ensures your oral health is in tip-top shape. With years of experience and ongoing training, we stay ahead of the curve in the latest dental techniques and technology. Contact us today or visit our website to learn more about our services and conveniently book your appointment online. Call (503) 362-8364.
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Fairmount Dental Center, 1524 Commercial St. SE, Salem, OR 97302-4310 ^ (503) 362-8364 ^ ^ 5/16/2024 ^ Tags: dentist Salem OR ^