Risks and complications associated with dental implants
Dental implants are long-term solution, whether it is a single implant, bridge or a full denture.
Based on a summary of a report by the National Board of Health and Welfare (ISBN: 91-7201-810-0), it can be stated that approximately 95% of the dental implants are functional at a 10-year dental check-up.
Complications, unusual but possible
As previously mentioned, there are few patients who suffer from complications due to dental implant treatment. However, dental implants risks that might occur are as follows:
- Fixture loss before or after loading
- Permanent loss of sensation associated with dental implants
- Soft tissue complications that requires treatment
- Inflammation of the tissues around implants
- Bone loss around dental implants
- Fracture of dental implants
- Complications related to the different implant components
- Complications related to prosthetic replacement
In addition to the above, surgical complications may occur such as the dental implants ending up in an incorrect position; the wrong direction, etc. which could damage the nearby teeth or worsen the possibility of achieving well functioning prosthetics.
Causes of complications with dental implant procedures
Exactly what causes a complication when undergoing a dental implant procedure is not thoroughly clear. However, there are studies of the factors that contribute to a failure of the implant treatment, or at least to an increased risk of complications. Such factors include:
- Dental fixtures with immediate load
- Unfavourable loading of the dental prosthesis or prosthetic reconstruction
- Poor bone quality
- Poor attachment of the implants during surgery
- Not enough implants in relation to loading
- Inexperienced dentist
- Careless surgical technique
- Patients that are smokers
The conclusion is that dental implants risks increases when the more of the above factors occurs in the individual case.
Be careful when choosing a clinic
As a patient, it can be helpful to know that dental implants can be placed by anyone who has a dental degree. This is since specific knowledge within the area was dismissed in 1999.
In the light of the above, it is important to be careful when choosing a practitioner and ensure that he/she has experience and expertise that is needed which will minimise the risk of complications.
Are some implant types/brands better than others?
There are a large number of manufacturers of dental implants and it is not unusual for one product to be presented as safer and better than the other. Many specialists in the field argue that the documentation of certain types of implants is too short-term.
The above was found in a study conducted in 2008 when 20 existing implant types were examined. They were divided into two groups based on how many scientific studies were published, they had to have at least five years follow-up, as seen below:
Dental implants with several studies over five years (per 2008)
Ankylos, Astra Tech, Bego-Semados, Biomet 3i, Brånemark System, Impladent, Nobel Direct/Perfect, Southern implants, Straumann, Xive.
Dental implants with no studies shown over five years (per 2008)
Atlas, Biomain, Brånemark Integration, Edure, Imtec-MDI, Lifecore, MIS, Neoss, Nobel Replace, Ospol.
As a patient, it might be good to ask the practitioner about what dental implant is going to be used and thereafter search for the product name on the Internet.