What can go wrong with dental implant surgery? Implant Removal and Implant Complications
Most often if there is proper implant planning by the implant specialist, dental implant surgery is very quick, simple and there is minimal pain. After implant surgery, implant healing in healthy patients is usually complete within one to two months and is uneventful. However when the patient is unhealthy or proper implant planning is not completed, implant surgery can go south…there can be implant problems and the dental implant reviews will not be good. So What can go wrong with dental implants?
- The implant can be placed into a jaw nerve or artery. Never, never have a dentist do a dental implant unless a 3D CBCT cone beam X-ray has been taken. It just isn’t worth rolling the dice. You cannot see the anatomy of the jaw bone without a 3D X-ray. Most large x-ray machines where you stand-up are 2D “panoramic” x-ray machines. A 3D CBCT is an expensive 100-200K piece of equipment only owned by specialized implant dentists and surgeons. Ask the dentist if they are taking a “cone beam 3D X-ray”. Placing a dental implant without a cone beam X-ray is like drilling into the walls of your house without knowing where the wires and pipes are located.
- The implant can be placed improperly into a sinus. Again get a 3D X-ray. Implants can be placed around sinuses with proper management with a high level of success. It is called a sinus lift. In order to lift a sinus you need to know where it is and manage to lift it properly.
- The implant may not be placed into the gum enough. This will result in a tooth that appears too short due to decreased height available for the implant crowns. How would you like to have a short squatty tooth in your smile? A cosmetic problem only, but an ugly and embarrassing one.
- The implant can be placed too far into the gum. This may result in the tooth looking too long. It will also be more difficult to clean and the implant can get infected later.
- The implant can get infected after placement. Usually the result of a patient who does not take prescribed medications after implant surgery. Can also be due to unhealthy bone where the implant was placed. One other possibility is inadequate width of bone for implant placement or the implant placed at an angle where it came out of the bone at the bottom. The implant can also crack the bone upon placement, if the implant is placed under too much pressure and/or the bone is unhealthy and brittle. Note: not all these all the fault of the implant dentist, but maybe just a difficult or impossible clinical case.
- The Implant can be placed too close to an adjacent tooth. this will result in the implant crown not being centered in between the teeth and you may get a lot of food stuck under the implant tooth.
- The implant can be placed too far back towards the tongue. This will result in the tooth being too thick on the tongue side and a large ledge under the crown on the cheek and lip side.
- The implant can be placed too far towards the lips cheek. This will result in the crown being too thick on the cheek and lip side and a large ledge being present on the tongue side.
- The implant can be placed at the wrong angle. This will result in off-angle biting forces and sometimes the crown being too thick on the over-angulated side.
- The implant can be placed into or onto the root of an adjacent tooth. This may result in loss of the adjacent tooth and infection of the implant.
So how should a dental implant be placed anyway? Each and every implant is different, but in most cases an implant should be:
- Centered between the adjacent teeth
- Centered between the cheek
- Centered between lips and tongue
- Placed 3mm into the gum
- Angled into bone
- Angled to be as best as possible in line with biting forces
- Placed onto healthy vital bone
- Implants placed into healthy bone
- Implants placed into patients who take prescribed medications
- Implants placed into patients who follow post surgery instructions
What to do if there is a dental implant problem or complication?
Early detection of implant problems is critical. When things do not seem right with a dental implant, they usually are not right. Implants heal very quickly and usually with minimal symptoms and no major incident. The best course of action when an implant is failing is early diagnosis of failure and speedy removal of the implant. If a failing implant is left in the jaw bone it will cause pain and bone loss at the very least. The failing implant can also potentially cause harm to other teeth and possibly a bad infection.
Dr. Gary Adams has successfully placed thousands of dental implants. I will happily take a look at you implant problems and provide a diagnosis and honest opinion. We are a full service implant center and I am the only dentist you will need for you consultation in my office. We have a state of the art 3D Xray / Cone Beam imaging system specifically made for implant planning and diagnosis.
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