Known Risks & Complications

Implant Dentistry has been around for decades, which includes continuous clinical and scientific studies to further improve or develop its on-going success. Evidently, dental implants have already established a long history of clinical success throughout the years. However, like any other medical/surgical procedures, the treatment has its own innate risks and complications. They are practically minor and generally manageable, and they are usually categorized into two major aspects; Implant-unit Related and Prosthetic Related.

Implant-Unit (Implant Screw) Related

  • FAILED INTEGRATION WITH BONE – When the titanium implant-screw has not successfully integrated, there may be a need for its removal, as it cannot be easily “modified” to osseointegrate. Replacement of another implant unit is usually done, but it may require a few months of healing period to install it and possible bone grafting procedures may be needed.
  • OSSEOINTEGRATION BREAKDOWN – A loss of continuous bone to implant integration may occur, usually after the placement of the dental crown/bridge or after years of usage. The embedded implant unit may eventually become loose or unstable, and this would require removal. In this case, the implant site needs proper healing (approximately 3 months) before another implant can be placed.

Implant-unit related complications needs proper attention once they occur. Despite that they may be left unresolved or remaining inside the jawbone, they are totally useless for prosthetic reconstruction. Moreover, bone resorption may occur around the collar of the implant unit and to rectify the situation, additional bone augmentation procedures will be required. There may also be a minuscule risk of permanent numbness to the lips and chin, or cause injury to the neighbouring teeth, if left untreated. Clinical studies proved that implant-unit placement is at a 90% success rate in the upper jaws, while a 95% success rate is allocated for the lower jaws. Additional research also depict that 90% of dental implants installed are still functioning in a span of 10 to 15 years in adequate usage.

Prosthetic (Artificial Teeth) Related

  • CHIPPING/BREAKING – Similar to our natural teeth, artificial ones are equally subjected to the same “wear-and-tear” over the years. Apparently, they have a tendency to chip or break with either inappropriate use or unavoidable accidents/injuries. Screw-retained prosthetics have the advantage of being easily replaced, in contrast with their cemented counterparts, wherein the removal process may damage them and a new one will have to be fabricated.
  • LOOSENING OF SCREWS – This condition specifically applies to screw-retained prosthetics, wherein one or more screws are holding them in place to the underlying implant abutment. Despite being tightened according to appropriate torques, there is a strong possibility that they would eventually become loose if excessive load is frequently applied to them.
  • GUM INFLAMMATION – Inflammation of your gums may occur due to poor oral hygiene. This would eventually cause the gums surrounding the dental implant irritated, swollen, or cause bleeding. In severe cases where excessive inflammation occurs, this may even cause you to unnecessarily lose your dental implant.

While the titanium implant unit (implant-screw) is virtually indestructible, especially if it has achieved optimal integration with the bone, the prosthetic fixture is not. Being constructed out of acrylic or ceramic materials, it is equally exposed to apparent damage as a natural tooth.

In general, there is a higher risk of failure for the whole treatment with certain conditions such as unmanageable diseases (diabetes) and heavy smokers. That is why it is apparent that each individual undergoes the pre-treatment evaluation to determine one’s eligibility for dental implants. Implant dentistry is on the progress of developing new technologies to further reduce the unnecessary risks and complications associated with the treatment. At Sea Smile Dental Clinic, we accommodate such advancements to boost the success rate of each and every procedure we confer and ensure you of nothing but the best when it comes to replacing your missing tooth/teeth and bring back that great smile that you deserve.

For more information on Dental Implants