One of the most common problems that occur with dental implants is failure of the implant to integrate with surrounding bone. It does not happen frequently however, it can happen. This is usually indicated by a loose implant a few weeks after surgery. Successful integration of the implant can be affected by factors, which include an infection in the dental implant recipient site, overheating of the surrounding bone, compromised blood supply to the area, limited bone available to stabilize the dental implant, pressure being applied to the implant before healing is completed or poor stabilization of the dental implant after surgery.
Another problem is a structural failure of a dental implant. After the dental implant has fully integrated with bone and complete healing has occurred, a dental implant can fracture if there is excessive pressure being applied to it. This can occur during an acute traumatic episode such as a blow to the face or excessive forces exerted on the dental implant over a period of time. Parafunctional habits like clenching or grinding, can be detrimental to implants as well as natural teeth. These destructive forces can lead to tooth and implant fractures. Mouthguards should be worn by patients with known parafunctional habits to protect the dentition.
Prolonged pain in the area of dental implant placement can also be encountered. After a dental implant is surgically placed in the bone the surrounding area can be tender for a few days. This is mainly due to post surgical inflammation of the surrounding tissue. On occasion, the pain can persist for a longer period of time or even indefinitely. The pain can be caused by chronic localized inflammation, close proximity of the dental implant to a major or even a minor nerve branch, or a more severe foreign body reaction. In these situations there are different methods of intervention. One of the most common ones is to have the implant removed and replaced at a later date. Another is placement of a metal-free implant.
As with any surgery there are potential complications that can occur during placement of a dental implant. Parasthesia, or numbness of a portion of a tissue can occur. This can include the lip, tongue, cheek and teeth. This is typically a result of over-preparation of the implant site. However, in some cases this can occur due to unknown causes. If this does occur, talk to your dentist about what steps need to be taken to correct the problem.
Most dental implant used today are made out of titanium alloy. Titanium is a non-toxic substance, which can trigger an allergic or inflammatory reaction in certain people. As a result of a production process, titanium alloy contain traces of nickel. Nickel, when in direct contact with living tissue can potentially cause health problems, including a hypersensitivity reaction, which can be falsely attributed to titanium. Only about 4 percent of individuals tested will show signs of an allergic reaction to titanium. The hypersensitivity reaction may show a range of symptoms, from red and itchy affected area to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The MELISA® test is the only scientifically-proven test which can objectively diagnose titanium allergy. If you are planning to have a hypersensitivity test before having a titanium dental implant placed, it is advised to find out the exact composition of the implant. This concern can be eliminated with the use of a ceramic implant.
Decementation of a dental implant supported crown, although very rare, can also be encountered. The main reason for dental crown displacement is improper positioning of a dental implant in the bone. Biting forces or occlusal forces, place stress on the crown, which does not have proper support from the implant. This causes the crown to eventually decement and come off. If the implant crown is displaced, a new one may need to be fabricated. This can be quite expensive since an average cost of a dental implant crown is about 1800 dollars.