What are dental implants, and how do they work?
Dental implants are medical devices (screws) that are used to support artificial teeth. They are surgically implanted into the jaw, and are a common procedure for helping those suffering from tooth loss.
The process works by adding the implants into the jaw, waiting for the implant to fuse with the jawbone so it can support a false tooth, and then adding the replacement teeth.
How is suitability for dental implants determined?
While dental implants are highly effective and widely used in the world of dentistry, they may not be suitable for everyone. Most adults are suitable for dental implants, however there are some exceptions.
Factors that will be considered by a dental professional to determine someone’s suitability for dental implants include overall health, bone health, jawbone density and volume, and overall oral health and hygiene including signs of gum disease. Some lifestyle habits, particularly smoking, may also reduce your suitability for implants as it affects your ability to heal effectively and can increase the risk of complications. If you’re not suitable for dental implants, there are other dental treatments that may be available for you.
How complex is the procedure?
Once your suitability for the treatment has been confirmed during your initial consultation, there should be no reason the surgery itself isn’t safe and straightforward when carried out by an experienced and reputable dental surgeon.
The process of fitting an implant is split of a number of visits to your oral surgeon and is likely to be spread out over a several weeks, as each stage of the procedure requires healing time and careful monitoring. For those who are looking for a faster overall solution for tooth loss that look and function like natural teeth, all-on-4 dental implants are another option. With this treatment, the surgery itself can be completed in one day rather than over numerous appointments, but you will still need a consultation beforehand, as well as check-ups to make sure healing is going well. This treatment is more suited to patients who require full month restoration rather than those who only need one or two teeth replaced.
Are there any possible complications involved?
If you’re in good health, have good oral health, and opt for a dental professional qualified in the fitting of implants, to carry out the surgical procedure, it is very unlikely that it won’t be successful. Not only this, but the implants typically last well over 20 years, and can often last a lifetime with proper care. At the Abbey by Duthie Dental, we are very lucky to have two qualified implantologists running successful clinics. Our Implants team is led by Consultant Oral Surgeon, Mr Robbie Williams.
What are the risks of getting dental implants?
As with any surgery, there are always a few health risks. Problems are rare with dental implants, and even when they do occur, they’re usually minor and can be easily treated. Risks include:
It’s vital to follow hygiene instructions from your dentist about how to properly care for your dental implants. This will significantly reduce the risk of any infection happening.
Implant not fusing to the bone
Osseointegration, which refers to the fusion of bone to implant, is an essential step in the process of getting dental implants fitted. On the rare occasion that this fails, the implant won’t be secure enough for the false tooth to be held in place effectively.
This risk is minimised through correct assessment of suitability for treatment by a qualified clinician but cannot be completely eliminated.
Nerve or tissue damage
As an x-ray should be taken before the procedure, there is a minimal chance of nerve damage as a result of dental implant surgery.
Not using a qualified and professional dentist
As we’ve touched on a few times, the most important thing to do to minimise any risks or complications with dental procedures, is to find a dentist you can trust. Make sure you have checked their credentials, do they have the right qualifications. How long have they been qualified? How many times have they carried out the procedure you are having? Be sure to check out reviews beforehand, and make sure a thorough consultation takes place before your surgery to explain your options and suitability, as well as talk you through the procedure, treatment times, and aftercare.
Dental Implants: Risk vs Reward
Providing you are suitable for the treatment, dental implants are a relatively risk-free procedure, making them definitely worth it for the benefits they provide. Not only do they look like natural teeth and give you a new-found confidence in your smile, they can also last a lifetime, prevent bone loss and further tooth loss, and help you chew and speak with ease.
So, are dental implants safe? In almost all cases, yes! Your decision to undergo dental implant surgery should take into account the many benefits, but also the potential risks involved, particularly when it comes to your suitability for the treatment. Make sure the dental practice you opt for is reliable, provides all the information you need, and won’t offer the treatment to anyone without checking their suitability.
It is also important to note that most of the post-surgery risks are down to following proper aftercare advice. So, make sure you are willing to stick to guidance from your dentist before you decide to go ahead with the treatment.
Have a question for our team?
If you have any questions about traditional dental implants or all-on-4 implants, or want to book a consultation with a Duthie dentist, get in touch with us today! Fill out our online form below to hear back from us, or give us a call to speak to a member of our friendly team.