Dental implants can be a great choice for people who have lost one or more teeth due to accidents, periodontal disease, or dental decay. These titanium screws act as artificial tooth roots that are implanted into the jawbone and fuse with it to provide a strong, stable base for the prosthetic tooth. They do not require alteration of adjacent teeth the way dental bridges do, and they are more stable than dentures are. Patients with dental implants are able to eat, speak, and smile just as though they have natural teeth.
Although most dental implant procedures are successful, complications can occur just as they can occur with any surgical procedure. Infections can occur after the implant has been placed. Because the mouth often has a large number of oral bacteria, the open wounds after surgery can be at great risk. Following your dentist’s instructions after having dental implants placed is essential to preventing infection.
Another complication that can occur after dental implants is nerve damage. When your dental implants dentist places the screw into the bone, it may hit a nerve and cause numbness in the lips, cheek, or chin. It may also lead to pain, discomfort, or other problems throughout the face. The implant could also be placed too close to surrounding structures, such as teeth or blood vessels, and cause bleeding or other complications. Recovery time could be lengthened and bone loss could occur.
Most complications are extremely rare, and the 15-year success rate for dental implants is 98 percent. However, some patients may experience higher failure rates than others. For example, smokers may not be appropriate candidates for dental implants since they may experience very high failure rates. Smoking impairs blood flow, which can slow healing and increase the risk of infection. If you smoke, your dentist may recommend that you quit smoking for a week before your procedure and a month after your procedure to reduce your risk of implant failure. If you smoke, your dental implants dentist may recommend that you quit smoking for a week before your procedure and a month after your procedure to reduce your risk of implant failure.
However, smokers may still face long-term risks associated with their habit. Blood flow continues to be impaired to the tissues and bones surrounding the implant, which can increase long-term failure rates. Smokers have a five-year failure rate of 16 percent compared to the non-smokers’ 1.4 percent rate. Smokers who smoke more than 20 cigarettes per day are facing a failure rate of more than 30 percent. They may also be facing bone and tissue loss.