What Are the Long-Term Consequences of Dental Implants?

What Are the Long-Term Consequences of Dental Implants?

September 1, 2021

Dental implant surgery is incredibly successful, with most patients experiencing a success rate of over 95 percent. However, the surgical procedure isn’t suitable for everyone. In addition, the process can cause potential long-term complications to leave you concerned about whether you should have them or not to replace your missing teeth.

As a tooth replacement solution, no other option currently available matches the versatility and longevity of dental implants. Dental implants are a long-term tooth replacement solution that gives you back all the abilities you lost with your missing teeth. The implant is a titanium screw that dental surgeons embed into your jawbone. The implant and your jawbone integrate over the next few months. After fusing with the jawbone, the implant supports an artificial tooth or crown.

The American Academy of implant dentistry claims approximately 3 million people in America have dental implants. In addition, about half a million people are having their tooth or teeth replaced with dental implants every year.

This article looks at the long-term consequences arising from dental implant surgery. We also aim to provide information on the success rate of implants, recovery time, and after-care.

Long-Term Consequences of Dental Implants

After undergoing dental implant surgery, may experience various complications as described below in this article. They are:

Infection

You can reduce the risk of infections by caring for your dental implant appropriately. It is crucial to follow the implantologist’s instructions regarding after-care. The conditions are usually treatable but depend on the severity and location. For example, if you have a bacterial infection in the gums, treatment is generally provided with antibiotics or soft tissue graft. However, if the bacterial infection is in the bone, removal of the infected bone tissue and even the implant becomes necessary along with a bone graft and soft tissue graft.

Gum Recession

You may experience receding gums around the implants in some cases. Receding gums can result in inflammation and pain. If you want to prevent the removal of the implant, you must have the gum recession assessed promptly by a dentist.

Nerve or Tissue Damage

Sometimes the implantologist may inadvertently place the dental implant too close to a nerve to result in long-term numbness, discomfort, and tingling. Nerve damage can also result in decreased quality of life. Therefore, immediate attention is needed from a specialist to correct nerve or tissue problems because any injury to the inferior alveolar nerve in the lower jaw is specifically severe.

Inferior alveolar nerve damage causes persistent numbness at the site of the implant, including the lower chin and lip, constant discomfort and pain besides burning sensations in the gums and skin, et cetera.

Other issues that are less bothersome include sinus issues and damage from excessive force. Discussing these issues with the implantologist helps you determine whether or not you are suitable for implant placement.

Long-Term Problems

Peri-implantitis is a variety of gum disease causing loss of bone supporting the implant. Peri-implantitis is caused by chronic inflammation at the implant site. Peri-implantitis requires approximately five years to progress before you experience any symptoms. The symptoms include bleeding or swelling around the implant site.

In rare cases, dental implants are rejected by the body because of a rare metal sensitivity causing their bodies to leave dental implants. It is why experts suggest patients undergo metal sensitivity tests before receiving dental implants.

Are You Suitable for Dental Implant Placement?

If you intend to receive dental implants, you must have good overall health besides healthy gums and jawbone. These structures are crucial for supporting the implant during your lifetime. Dental implants are unsuitable for children because their facial bones are still in the developmental stages.

Despite their success rates, dental implants can fail, and healthcare professionals categorize the failures as early failure or late failure. As mentioned earlier, dental implants are incredibly successful in most patients, but the success rate may diminish if you have gum disease and diabetes and are a smoker. In addition, if you have received radiation therapy to the jaw area and take certain medications, you must exchange the information with your dentist, who might suggest you have an overdenture to replace your missing teeth.

Caring for Your Dental Implants

Following the after-care instructions provided by your dentist is the best way to ensure the success of your implants. After undergoing dental implant surgery, you must avoid hot foods and beverages and stick to a soft food diet for a few days. Avoiding strenuous exercises for at least two to three days to inhibit increased blood flow and swelling to the area is also essential.

You must maintain proper dental hygiene and clean the tissues surrounding the implant regularly. Flossing the area at least once a day after healing of the gums and using interdental toothbrushes to access difficult-to-reach areas is suggested by dentists. You must also schedule regular dental exams to have areas below the gum line cleaned. If you are a smoker, you must consider quitting the habit because it reduces the risk of unnecessary consequences or complications from dental implant surgery.