During the implant procedure while drilling the nerve that runs through the jawbone can be nicked. The result would be pain or numbness. If numbness takes place, it usually impacts on the lower part of the lip and/or, sometimes one side of the tongue. It can continue for a few months until the nerve heals. In some instances, it may be permanent.
In the upper jaw, it is possible of drilling through the jawbone into one of the sinuses or nasal cavity. If this happens it could result in an infection. To avoid this scenario, special X-rays need to be taken before surgery to help the surgeon determine where the nerves, sinuses and nasal cavity located.
More than 96% of dental implant surgeries are successful. It rarely happens that the implant fails to integrate with the surrounding bone tissue. This problem can only be discovered at the second stage when the implant is uncovered and the surgeon finds it is loose. In this case, the "failed" implant needs to be replaced with another one immediately or as soon as possible.
Smoking appears to decrease the blood flow to the healing gums and bone, which could interfere with the bonding process. Common problem is the lack of healthy bone.
Problems also can develop years after implants are placed. For example, just like natural teeth and gum tissue, the gum around implants can become infected by bacteria. This leads to a form of periodontal disease called periimplantitis. If left untreated, this condition can cause bone loss. Then the implant can become loose and have to be removed. Generally, this situation can be treated in a way very similar to treatments for periodontal disease affecting natural teeth.
Another type of complication is breakage. Either the implant or the implant supported restoration (crown, bridge or denture) can break. This usually happens if your bite (the way your teeth come together) is not aligned properly. If your bite is off, too much force might be placed on the restoration or implant. This can cause the implant to lose its integration with the bone. Broken restorations can often be repaired. However, a fractured or failed implant has to be removed. An implant that breaks or fails because of an infection can be replaced with a new implant.
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Author: Jim I. Paskuly