It is widely known that dental implants are one of the more advanced forms of dental treatment involving surgical intervention. Where surgical intervention is required anywhere in the body, there are always some risk factors involved regarding complications during the surgical procedure or post-operatively, excluding human error, which is always considered and must be ruled out.
Complications of Dental Implant Surgery
Complications, during and after dental implant surgery, can emergedue to many factors. Some of the possible problems a dental surgeon or the patient can face are listed below.
Reaction to Anesthesia
When the implant surgery is to begin, the selected anesthesia needs to be administered in order to control and manage pain during the procedure. When giving a patient local or even general anesthesia, it is important to know the patient’s history with having anesthesia and whether drug reactions were experienced. Many times, the patient has either not had anesthesia before or does not remember if anything went wrong, in which case administration of the anesthetic drug is a risk which must be taken. Continue reading
Dental implants are one of the breakthrough technologies in the field of dentistry, allowing a permanent replacement for lost teeth. They act in the same manner as natural roots do, giving support to the overlying prosthesis just as natural crowns are supported by the roots.
A surprising fact is that dental implants have been in practice ever since the ancient times, meaning that their concept is not new, rather their superior materials and forms in modern dentistry are what make them a highly successful treatment today.
The Implant Procedure
The procedure involved in placing dental implants is relatively simple, and can be summarized for clarity in a few basic steps.
· Implant Placement
After the dentist has taken a complete medical and dental history, examined the oral cavity and taken the necessary X-rays needed for accurate implant placement, the patient is ready for the implant.
After administering local anesthesia, the implant is surgically placed within the jaw bone. A small incision is made within the gum to allow access to the underlying bone. A hand- piece or “drill” is then used to make a shallow hole in the bone, within which the implant is then inserted and twisted into place, in the same fashion as a screw. This allows better stability and adaptation of the implant within the bone.
Thereafter, the implant is left and allowed to heal, along with its overlying gum tissue. During this healing period, the core principle of “Osseo- integration” of Titanium implants plays its role, which is the basis for the implant’s success.
Implants have been made of a variety of materials ever since they came into existence, ranging from gold- wire, semi- precious stones, iron and ivory. Modern implantology makes use of the biologically friendly and precious metal Titanium.
What makes Titanium unique is its incredible ability to attract bone forming cells around itself. When an implant is placed, it is this phenomenon which gives it superior stability. The bone cells begin to accumulate around the newly placed implant and form new bone, imbedding the implant into this hard tissue firmly. This process is known as “osseo- integration”- integration of the implant in bone – and the core feature of successful Titanium implants.
· Abutment or Post Placement
The next step in the procedure is a small one, whereby a small post called an abutment is placed into the implant for support of the future prosthesis, such a crown, bridge or denture.
The final step is the placement and fixation of a dental prosthesis over the implant, to restore the function of the teeth. The restoration can be in the form of a single crown, multiple crowns together known as a bridge and a denture, for its added stability in the mouth. Continue reading
The field of dentistry has shown remarkable advancements in the past century, particularly in the last decade. The advent of dental implants is dated back to thousands of years ago, with materials such as carved wood and shells being used to replace lost teeth. Different civilizations showed their awareness of the importance of replacing lost teeth, such as the Egyptians, Romans, Pre- Columbians and those of the Middle Ages in the Middle East.
In the 1950s, the Swedish Orthopedic surgeon, Per- Ingvar Branemark discovered the wondrous properties of Titanium, which form the basis of all implants today. He devised the phenomenon of “osseo- integration” of implants which was characteristic of the precious Titanium metal. It was due to this unique property of Titanium that all other metals such as Stainless Steel and Nickel- Chromium alloy implants became outdated, as such materials, though bio- friendly, did not possess the quality of fusion to bone.
Advancements in Implant technology
Ever since the advent of Titanium implants, many advancements in the form of implants have been made. Many different types of implants have been devised but most of them required extensive surgical procedures to placed, and were quite invasive. This would lead to a prolonged healing time for patients and much post- operative discomfort. Continue reading
It has been established that dental implants are meant to act as permanent replacements for lost teeth. An implant acts as an anchor for a prosthetic tooth such as a crown or multiple prosthetic teeth, for a bridge and even for an entire denture.
In the event of tooth loss, either in the front or in the back of the mouth, a replacement for the missing tooth is crucial to re-establish the functional integrity of the teeth for vital processes such as chewing and speech, as well as to restore the esthetics of the smile.
Indications of a Dental Implant
Implants are thus meant to replace lost or missing teeth. However, there may be other reasons why one may need a dental implant. The indications of dental implants are listed below.
Missing or lost teeth
Teeth may be lost for reasons such as extensive tooth decay, trauma, periodontal disease and naturally due to old age. In all instances, dental implants may be used to replace the missing tooth or teeth, along with a dental prosthesis such as a crown or bridge to replace one or two teeth, or a denture in the case of complete tooth loss. Implants provide ideal support and retention of these prosthetic appliances. Continue reading
Dental implants have been in practice for many years, so they are in no way a new concept in dentistry. However, the superior materials and methods used in the world of dentistry today are far more likely to show success and positive results. More than 97% cases of dental implant patients have been completely successful showing promising healing, successful osseo-integration and complete restoration of the natural functions of the mouth.
Considering the high success rates reported for implants, there is still a chance that the implant treatment may fail. The reasons for implant failure are discussed in this article.
Failure of Dental Implants
Implant placement is an intricate procedure that requires much skill and expertise, along with a complete detailed medical and dental history. There are still risks of performing implant surgery, as with any surgical procedure performed elsewhere in the body. Following are some of the main reasons for implant failure.
Overheating of Bone during placement
When an implant is placed in the bone, it needs to be firmly tightened, but this too under highly controlled pressure. Excessive pressure during tightening or implant overloading could cause overheating and subsequent bone death or necrosis, leading to failure of the implant.
A contaminated implant would inevitably cause infection around the implant site and within the bone, leading to necrosis and implant failure.
Pre-existing infection/ Post-operative infection
The implant site might be previously infected with foreign material or a remaining root fragment that went undetected or was symptomless, or the sinus above an upper implant site might be infected and could get perforated during the treatment, leading to further subsequent infection and thus, failure of the implant.
Immuno- compromised Patient
A patient with a systemic disease such as uncontrolled diabetes mellitus or liver disease would be most likely to suffer implant failure, this is because their body does not have the required capacity to heal the implant wound and site, causing delayed wound healing leading to failure of the implant and a very high chance of infection at the implant site. Patients under radiation therapy would suffer the same, as would patients with hemophilia, chronic smokers and substance abusers.
Inadequate Oral hygiene
Maintenance of a strict oral hygiene regime is crucial, especially after implant surgery and placement of the restoration. Failure to follow good oral hygiene methods would lead to failure of the implant, as it would cause subsequent peri-implant mucositis and infection of the implant site.
After loading the prosthesis upon the implant, bone loss occurs until a steady state of bone formation is achieved. During this period of bone loss, failure of the implant can occur due to excessive biomechanical forces upon the implant by habits such as clenching, grinding or constant chewing.
Primary Implant failure
While placing the implant, the primary implant fit may not be acceptable and could cause the implant to fail. Also, excessive forces and movement of the implant during its healing period would also cause it to be a failed treatment. Care must be taken to ensure that the selected implant is a perfect fit, and that it is not disturbed at all during its healing phase.
It is always advised to have implant treatment done by a highly experienced implantologist or any dentist who has a good history of successful implant treatments. Even then, there is always room for human error and a lack in the implant technique could cause the implant treatment to fail.
Though the above mentioned reasons for implant failure are not very common, they are still a possibility. Always ensure that a thorough medical and dental examination is carried out before considering implant surgery, in order to avoid complications.