Even though dental implants are considered one of the biggest successes in the advancement of modern dentistry it is still possible for problems with dental implants to occur. The likelihood of dental implant failure is increased if you have poor dental hygiene, if the procedure or design was not handled professionally or if you are a heavy smoker.
According to the Australian Dental Association, when performed correctly the success rate of implants ranges between 90 and 98%.
Patients who present with any of these factors are considered to be at greater risk for implant failure
• Gum disease
• Weak or inadequate jawbone to support your implant
• An existing medical condition like diabetes, cancer or HIV/AIDS, which can interfere with your body’s natural ability to heal itself
• Any problems which could affect your ability to exercise sound dental care and habits.
How To Avoid Problems With Dental Implants
Of course one of the most important considerations is finding a professional who has the skill and expertise to plan and conduct your procedure safely and effectively.
Complications and risk factors for dental implants are usually split into two different categories: those that could occur in the six months following your procedure and those that pose long term complications.
Long Term Risks And Complications Of Dental Implants
Long term complications to dental implants are generally caused because the implant was not designed correctly or because of bone loss surrounding the implant site.
When the dental implant procedure has been successful the most common cause of failure is because the implant has not integrated with the jaw bone. This is usually attributed to events like not following good dental hygiene, heavy smoking, trauma to the surgery site or medical conditions like osteoporosis, radiation or diabetes.
If your implant site is surrounded by healthy gum and soft tissue it is likely to be stable. Your dentist will test your implant during the eight to 24-week interval following surgery to see if it is stable. He or she will check that there is no sign of infection, and that there is no bleeding or pain.
Peri-implantitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the hard and soft tissue of the mouth, surrounding the implant site. Peri-implantitis is infectious and can be caused by different factors like poor dental hygiene, diabetes, heavy smoking or a problem with the implant itself.
Fractures usually take place when dental implants are too thin or too short. Fracturing can occur in two places: fracturing between the screw and the abutment and fracturing at the abutment.
The most common cause of receding gums is gingivitis or inflammation of the gums, which is usually caused by poor dental hygiene. When the gums recede they expose the abutment of the implant. Meticulous dental hygiene can ensure you avoid gum disease.
Over the course of time it is possible for your dental implants to erode, become detached or chip. In most cases the implant is likely to last for the rest of the patient’s life but any of the aforementioned factors can play a role in weakening the implant or shortening its lifespan.
Regular follow ups are important
You should have your dental implants inspected twice a year at least. The factors that determine whether they are successful would be satisfactory implant function, lack of pain and bleeding in the soft tissue and mobility.