Seymour Office

Are Dental Implants Safe?

example of dental implant

Dealing with missing teeth and longing for a solid, lasting solution can lead you to consider the route of dental implants. This option, made increasingly popular in recent years, promises to boost both your smile and oral functionality. Yet, understanding the safety aspects tied to dental implants and weighing their potential risks and benefits is vital before you commit to the procedure.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are surgical components intended to take the place of a missing tooth’s root. Usually composed of titanium, they are inserted beneath the gum line into the jawbone. After the implants are firmly fixed into the jawbone, they offer a strong foundation to support dental restorations like crowns, bridges, or removable dentures.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

  • Comfort and Durability. Firmly anchored to your jawbone, dental implants do not slip or move, offering comfort and stability. They serve as a robust and durable long-term solution for missing teeth, withstanding daily use much like your natural teeth.
  • Bone Loss Prevention. Loss of teeth often leads to jawbone deterioration due to a lack of stimulation. Dental implants, on the other hand, provide the same stimulation to the jawbone as natural teeth, thereby preventing bone loss and preserving the overall oral structure.
  • Aesthetic Appeal and Natural Appearance. The design of dental implants not only simulates the appearance of real teeth, making your smile seamless, but also boosts your overall facial aesthetics and confidence.
  • Preservation of Oral Health. Unlike dental bridges that require grinding down adjacent teeth, dental implants don’t need any alteration of the surrounding teeth, preserving your oral health.

What Is the Process of Dental Implants?

Step 1: Initial Consultation

The procedure starts with a meeting with a dental expert, like an oral surgeon or a dentist who specializes in implants. In this meeting, the dentist will check the patient’s teeth and mouth, look over their past health records, and decide if they are a good fit for dental implants.

Step 2: Treatment Planning

Once the patient is deemed eligible for dental implants, a comprehensive treatment plan is created. This plan takes into account factors like the number of missing teeth, the condition of the jawbone and the desired outcome.

Step 3: Preparatory Procedures

In some cases, preparatory procedures may be required before the implant placement. These procedures include bone grafting to enhance the jawbone density or gum tissue augmentation to create a more favorable environment for the implant.

Step 4: Implant Placement

The implant placement procedure is usually carried out under local anesthesia. A small incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the underlying jawbone. The titanium implant is then cautiously placed into the jawbone after a hole has been drilled into the bone. The incision is then closed with stitches.

Step 5: Osseointegration

Following implant placement, a crucial healing process called osseointegration takes place. It involves the natural bonding of the implant with the surrounding jawbone. Over several months, the bone tissue grows and fuses with the implant surface and creates a strong and stable foundation.

Step 6: Abutment Placement

Once osseointegration is complete, a minor surgical procedure is performed to affix an abutment to the implant. The abutment is the part that links the artificial tooth and the implant.

Step 7: Prosthesis Fabrication

After the abutment placement, impressions of the teeth are taken to create a custom-made prosthetic tooth or crown. The dental laboratory fabricates the prosthetic tooth to match the natural appearance and function of the patient’s remaining teeth.

Step 8: Prosthesis Attachment

In the final step, the prosthetic tooth is attached to the abutment. The dentist ensures proper fit, alignment and bite function to ensure the patient’s comfort and functionality.

How Safe Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are generally safe and have been extensively studied and backed by successful procedures in dental restoration. They have a high success rate, indicating that they are a great and safe method for replacing missing teeth. However, like any surgical procedure, dental implants do carry some risks, which can be minimized with proper care and skilled practitioners.

What Is the Success Rate of Dental Implants?

Dental implants have been shown to have high success rates, typically ranging from 95% to 98%. This indicates that the procedure is generally safe and effective for replacing missing teeth. The success of dental implants depends on various factors, including the patient’s overall health, oral hygiene and adherence to post-surgical care instructions.

Are There Risks Associated With a Dental Implant Procedure?

Damage to Adjacent Teeth

One of the risks of a dental implant procedure is the potential for damage to the neighboring teeth. This could occur during implant insertion if it isn’t properly aligned. If damage occurs, it could lead to tooth decay or loss. An experienced dental provider is usually able to perform the procedure with minimal risk to the adjacent teeth.

Damage to Surrounding Soft Tissues

The gums and other oral tissues surrounding the site of the dental implant are also at risk. Surgical errors, infection, or an autoimmune response can cause these tissues to become inflamed or damaged, potentially leading to gum disease (periodontal disease) or failure of the implant if untreated. Regular dental hygiene and careful monitoring can reduce these risks.

Damage to Blood Vessels

The risk of blood vessel damage is present with any surgical procedure, including tooth implant surgery. This can occur if a titanium screw, which is used to secure the dental crown, punctures a blood vessel during insertion. It could result in minor bleeding or nerve damage, which might cause numbness or tingling. Skilled practitioners can minimize this risk by using accurate imaging techniques and careful surgical procedures during dental implant placement.

Puncturing a Sinus

The risk of puncturing a sinus, also known as sinus damage, is associated with implants placed in the upper jaw. Depending on the patient’s anatomy, such as having insufficient bone growth or bone health, the implant’s metal post might accidentally penetrate the sinus cavities. This could lead to sinus infections or chronic sinusitis. To reduce this risk, some patients might require additional procedures like a sinus augmentation or bone graft to ensure safe and sufficient placement of the implant.

Failure of Osseointegration

This involves a failure in the process where the dental implant bonds, or integrates, with the jawbone. This is a crucial step in a successful dental implant procedure as the implant needs to fully bond with the bone to support the replacement tooth or dental crown adequately.

Factors such as inadequate bone density, certain health conditions (like uncontrolled diabetes and autoimmune disease), or lifestyle habits (smoking, poor oral hygiene) can hinder this process, leading to implant failure.

What Are the Precautions and Considerations for Safe Dental Implant Procedures?

  • Pre-Procedural Assessment. Before the procedure, several factors are assessed, including oral health, bone density, medical history and lifestyle habits, and these are essential for a successful dental implant procedure.
  • Implant Materials. Most dental implants are made of titanium or titanium alloys, which are well-tolerated by the body and have a high success rate. Allergic reactions to titanium are very rare. However, patients with known allergies to metals, particularly titanium, should inform their dental professional to explore alternative materials.
  • Infection Prevention. An infection can occur during the invasive procedure of dental implant surgery. To minimize this risk, patients may be prescribed antibiotics before and after the dental surgery. Strict adherence to oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing and flossing, is also essential to prevent infection.
  • Recovery Time. Dental implant procedures require a certain amount of healing time before the permanent crown or prosthetic teeth can be placed. Patients should be aware of the approximate recovery period and follow post-operative instructions for optimal healing.
  • Long-Term Success and Maintenance. Implants provide a lasting solution for tooth loss, but their long-term success depends on appropriate care and maintenance. The stability and longevity of the implants depend on routine dental examinations, expert cleanings, and good oral hygiene habits.

Learn More About Dental Implants: Schedule Your Consultation With Strull Oral Surgery Today

When it comes to tooth replacement options, many individuals wonder, “Is dental implant safe?” the answer is yes. Dental implants have been extensively researched and proven to be a safe and excellent solution for those with missing teeth. With the support of professional expertise, these implants boast high success rates and long-term stability.

If you are considering dental implants, it is crucial to consult with our dental professional to evaluate your suitability for the procedure. They can provide personalized advice and address any concerns or questions you may have. Explore the possibilities of dental implants with Strull Oral Surgery, a trusted provider specializing in oral health and implant procedures.

Contact us today to book an appointment.