Dental implants are utilized to replace one or more missing teeth. They are the preferable method of replacing teeth as they rarely need replacement and are placed without damaging other teeth or removing tooth structure.
As with any surgical procedure, the placement of a dental implant is not completely without risk, although the occurrence of any adverse side effects is low and most are easily treatable.
Possible risks are: infection at the implant site; injury or damage to the surrounding structures (teeth or blood vessels); nerve damage which results in pain or numbness in your natural teeth, gum tissue, lips or cheeks; sinus problems.
When one of these risk factors occurs, the dentist may treat the area by applying a topical antibiotic or by prescribing an oral antibiotic and pain medication.
The patient may experience discomfort, swelling and minor bleeding after the each phase of the procedure. This is common and should not cause alarm. If the pain becomes intense of continues beyond a few days, consult the treatment dentist as it may be an indication that an infection has started.
Smoking, poor oral hygiene and pre-existing conditions can increase the likelihood that the dental implant will fail. Dental implant failure occurs when the bone fails to fuse to the implant. In this event, the implant must be removed and the bone be allowed sufficient time to heal before the procedure can be attempted again.
The dental implant can also fail if the crown if placed before the bone has had sufficient time to heal. The force that is placed on the implant from biting into food can cause the implant to become dislodged. X-rays must be examined by the dentist to determine if the implant is ready to withstand biting force.