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Top 10 Risks of Dental Implants

A Brownstown Dental Care blog post by Dr. Ben Hanson

When properly cared for, your teeth should last a lifetime. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Missing and/or damaged teeth are one of the top dental concerns for adults in the United States. Dental implants are an effective way to replace these teeth.

In this procedure, the dentist inserts a titanium screw into the jawbone, which replaces the missing tooth root. Then, a prosthetic tooth is attached to it to restore the natural feel, appearance, and functionality of your smile.

The team at Brownstown Dental Care is committed to providing lifetime solutions for your dental concerns. Dental implant-based solutions are one of their most popular options. In this article, we’ll explain the top 10 potential side effects or complications associated with dental implants.

How Do Implants Work?

Dental implants are often recommended for patients over the age of 18. We do not recommend this for our pediatric patients because their jaws are still forming.

The first step in getting dental implants is a thorough examination, including imaging. We use several factors to determine if you qualify for dental implants. If you do, we will move forward with the process. If not, we can determine which solution is best for you.

If you have damaged teeth that need to be extracted, this will be done first. Dental implants require a healthy, adequate jawbone for support. If you have experienced some jawbone deterioration, we can perform bone graft surgery to improve it. This creates a stable base for your implants to be placed.

Next, after you have healed from preliminary procedures, we will place the implants. This involves making an incision in the gum and drilling a hole in the jawbone. Once the implant is placed, the incision will be closed, and you will be sent home to heal.

Healing usually takes several months to a year, depending on how your body heals. You will need to stick to a soft foods diet during this time to avoid damaging the implants.

Once your jawbone has fused with the implants, the site will be re-opened, and the abutment will be placed. This will secure the restoration to the implant screw. A healing cap will be placed to prevent the gum from healing over it. We will order your custom restoration at this time. When it is received in the office, we will ensure that it fits before securing it in place.

Implant-based restorations can be fixed or removable, depending on your condition, budget, and expectations for treatment.

Top 10 Risks of Tooth Implants

Dental implants have a 98% success rate over the long term. This procedure is a low-risk way to restore the look, feel, and functionality of your missing teeth. However, even though the risks are low, there are a few things you should be aware of before having this surgery. The team at Brownstown Dental Care does not want you to let these be a deterrent for getting this restoration. We simply want you to be informed.


Germs such as fungi, yeast, bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms can invade and grow in the body. These can begin anywhere and spread throughout your body. If the dentist does not take the time to clean the area before placing the implant, your risk of infection increases. One of the ways that we can combat this is by prescribing antibiotics prior to the surgery to kill any bacteria that may be present.

If your gums become red, tender/sore, or inflamed, contact the clinic as soon as possible for an emergency appointment. If addressed early, you can prevent the infection from spreading.

Injury to Blood Vessels, Jawbone, and Gums

The surgery to place implants is fairly invasive. If you are working with an inexperienced surgeon, the blood vessels, jawbone, and gums may be injured. This can cause the implant to loosen. If you are experiencing pain or if the implant becomes loose, you should seek immediate treatment.

Nerve Damage

Nerve damage may also occur when working with an inexperienced surgeon. If you experience numbness and/or tingling in your gums, face, or mouth, you may have nerve damage. We take steps to mitigate this risk by taking X-rays and other detailed images to ensure that the implants are placed properly.

Sinus Issues

In some cases, implants placed on the upper jaw may penetrate the sinus cavity, which can cause headaches and other sinus issues. However, the X-rays and other imaging can help us determine if sinus lift surgery is necessary to prevent this from happening.

Implant Fracture

If extreme force is applied to the implant at any time, it may fracture. If this happens, it will need to be removed and a new one placed. Therefore, while you can eat most foods after healing, you should avoid foods that are hard, crunchy, or tough while healing. In addition, if you grind or clench your teeth, you should discuss your options for bruxism treatment such as a nightguard to prevent damage to the implants.

Medical Conditions and Treatments

Medical conditions such as osteoporosis and diabetes can have an impact on the health of your bones. Additionally, certain medications and medical treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation can impact your overall health.

In order to qualify for dental implant surgery, you must have a strong immune system and adequate bone density/health. Therefore, one of the things that we will do during your consultation is to discuss your oral and overall medical history.

Osseointegration Failure

The healing process involves a process known as osseointegration. This is when the jawbone heals around and fuses with the implant. If this doesn’t happen successfully, the implant will not be stable enough to hold the prosthesis. This is known as implant failure.

If this happens, the implant may fall out or need to be removed. At this time, you can discuss your options with your dentist. In some cases, you can have new implants placed after healing. However, sometimes you may need to try a different method of tooth replacement.

Improper Placement

In some cases, the dentist makes a mistake with the location or angle of the implant. If this happens, it can lead to complications such as osseointegration failure, pain, or implant failure. This usually means the implant needs to be removed and you can discuss your options. In some cases, a new implant can be placed. However, some patients prefer to try something different.

Receding Gums

If your gums begin to recede around the implant, you should schedule a consultation immediately. Often, gum recession is accompanied by pain and inflammation. However, by addressing the problem early, you may be able to prevent implant failure.

Loose Implant

The healing process involves osseointegration, which is critical to the success of the implant. This usually takes a minimum of several months. if this doesn’t happen, the implant may need to be removed. Later, after full healing, the dentist may be able to place a new implant.

Schedule Your Dental Implant Consultation Today

If you are missing one or more teeth, consider scheduling your dental implant consultation with the team at Brownstown Dental Care today. We are located on Allen Road in Brownstown. Our office hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Wednesday and Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. We are not open on the weekends, but we are available for patients who have dental emergencies.

In addition to dental implants, we offer a variety of general and cosmetic dental services for the entire family. We believe that your budget should not be a barrier to your dental treatment, so we offer financing options to make paying for treatment more affordable.

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Brownstown Dental Care in Brownstown, MI is your local team for dental implants, cosmetic dentistry and other life-changing dental services. Your neighbors count on us for all their dental care needs. From general dentistry and preventative care to complex cosmetic and restorative dentistry procedures, we are your team dedicated to providing quality, comprehensive care under one roof.

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