If you do a lot of research before your medical or dental procedures, you may have come across some alarming stories regarding the hazards of dental implants. Dr. Massiah is a big proponent of patient education, which means he's upfront and honest with patients about the fact that getting dental implants is a surgical treatment with risks and complications, just like any other surgery. The good news is that by working with skilled dental implant specialists like the team at Smiles on the Upper Westside, you can minimize your risk of complications.
Dental Implant Safety
Dental implants are so safe that they've become the preferred option for replacing missing teeth in most circumstances. While implants may seem like a new development in dentistry, titanium implant fixtures have been in use for more than half a century and have a success rate of 95 to 98 percent after 10 years.
Headaches, jaw pain, and chronic low-level infection are some of the most common dental implant issues you'll read about on the internet. Over the years, a lot of research has been done on these topics, and no studies have shown that implants cause these or any other chronic health problems.
Dentists recommend dental implants because they prevent the chronic health issues that go hand-in-hand with tooth loss. Dental implants help maintain jaw bone density, which is important for both your dental and general health. As your jaw begins to break down, your bite becomes weaker, making it more difficult to eat the well-balanced diet your body needs to function at its best.
Risks of Dental Implants
These are the most common risks of dental implants:
Any surgery, including dental implants, has the risk of nerve injury, bleeding, infection, and damage to surrounding tissues. If you choose to have dental sedation during your procedure, you should be aware that this comes with its own set of risks. The chances of surgical complications occurring are lessened when you have dental implants placed by a qualified specialist.
Dental Implant Failure
The majority of implant failures are due to either a patient's unwillingness to follow aftercare recommendations or a dentist's lack of training, skill, or patient screening. Some patients, for example, travel outside the country to have dental implants placed at a reduced cost, but the surgery may not be performed to the same high standards as it would be in the United States.
Your dental implants might fail because:
- You start smoking again shortly after surgery.
- You have an underlying health condition, such as diabetes, that makes it harder for your body to heal after surgery or that puts you at increased risk of infection.
- You develop gum disease after getting implants.
- You don't visit the dentist for regular preventive dental care.
- You don’t have the necessary jawbone support for dental implants.
- You take medications that impact your body’s ability to absorb calcium.
- You had chemotherapy or radiation treatments after dental implant surgery.
When a knowledgeable dental implant specialist performs the surgery, dental implants are completely safe. While many dentists now offer dental implants, it's important to select a specialist who has experience with a range of cases and has performed the procedure frequently. At Smiles on the Upper Westside, we have a number of dental specialists all under one roof, which means we can handle your entire treatment in-house. You’ll still be seeing the specialists you need to see for optimal care, but you won’t need to have to coordinate visits to multiple practices.