Every surgery involves a wide range of external and internal factors that may result in complications or even complete treatment failure. Teeth implants aren’t the exception. They are used to permanently replace missing teeth and are a common alternative to dental bridges and dentures. Teeth implants are anchored directly into the bone of your jaw, which helps restore your mouth’s function and improve the appearance of your smile. While teeth implant procedures have a high success rate, some patients can experience various complications.
Below are the most common implant problems and their potential causes that you should be aware of before choosing dental implants to replace your missing teeth.
1. Failed osseointegration
Osseointegration means a direct structural and functional connection between your jawbone and a tooth implant. It happens within several months after the implant’s installation. Dental implant failure typically occurs when your jawbone fails to bond correctly with the implant. An implant fails when it falls out or shows symptoms of bone deterioration. The common risk factors for failed osseointegration include improper positioning, poor bone mass or volume, excessive bite force, damaged oral tissues, mouth injury, or even anesthesia side effects.
Your jawbone should have enough volume and density for a tooth implant to be installed into it. If it lacks proper height, length, or width, treatments like bone grafting and the augmentation of the maxillary sinus are essential to achieve adequate jawbone space and mass. However, both of these procedures add to the overall treatment cost and postoperative recovery time.
Keep in mind that if you’re missing any teeth, the underlying jawbone can start to slowly deteriorate due to lack of stimulation from chewing. If you’ve avoided replacing your missing teeth for months or more, undergoing bone grafting may be necessary before getting any artificial ones.
Peri-implantitis is a disease that occurs when bacteria infects your jawbone during surgical treatment or at the time of postoperative recovery due to a lack of good dental hygiene. It can also develop due to dental cement leaking from under the crown and getting caught in your gum line.
Common dental implant infection symptoms include swollen gums and inflamed bone tissue surrounding your implant. Persisting peri-implantitis can result in jawbone deterioration and failure of an implant. There’s often a chance to treat this infectious disease, but the affected tooth implant must be removed in most cases. Sometimes, peri-implantitis develops a few months or years after the surgery. Diabetes, smoking, receding gums, and bad dental hygiene can increase your odds of experiencing this infection.
3. Nerve and tissue damage
In rare cases, dental implant failure can result from damage to the tissue surrounding an implant, particularly the nerves. If your implant is installed near a nerve, you may end up experiencing continuous pain, loss of sensation, and tingling in your gum line, tongue, cheeks, chin, or lips. Depending on the severity of the nerve damage, removing your tooth implant may be necessary. This problem typically occurs due to a mistake made by an unskilled dental specialist. If your postoperative pain and/or the bleeding gets stronger or lasts longer than three days, consult your surgeon ASAP.
4. Allergic reaction
Modern dental implants are usually manufactured from a nickel-titanium alloy. Some people may experience an inflammatory or allergic reaction to titanium. Your symptoms may extend from itching to myalgic encephalomyelitis. The only scientifically proven way of determining whether or not you experience a titanium allergy is undergoing a memory lymphocyte immunostimulation assay.
5. Foreign body rejection
Just like organ transplants, tooth implants can also be rejected by your body. In such a case, your body treats an implant like a foreign object that needs to be pushed out or eliminated.