Health Risks of Dental Implants


Authored by Stephanie Modkins in Dentistry 
Published on 11-27-2009

Dental implants are tooth root replacements used in prosthetic dentistry. People missing teeth often opt for them when they want the convenience and aesthetic beauty that dentures don’t offer. Dental implants will restore a person’s mouth to a more natural state without looking fake and requiring special trays and cleaning agents. Yet, there are potential health risks. The health risks associated with dental implants are threefold. Dental implant recipients can get an infection, nerve injury and nasal sinus perforation. As a result, individuals that decide to get dental implants must weigh the pros and cons of this surgery.


Infection is one of the most common health risks of dental implants. Local or systemic infection can occur after surgery to the gums. The cause is bacteria. The human mouth is a cesspool of bacteria that can’t be completely eliminated even with regular brushing or flossing of the teeth. As a result, it’s not unusual for implant recipients to battle a low-grade infection as their mouths heal from the placement of new teeth. Pain, sour smells and excess bleeding are symptoms of an infection. The solutions are either a bacteria fighting mouth wash or oral medication.

Nerve Injury

Nerve injury is a complication that can occur from oral surgery. Therefore, it is one of the health risks of dental implants. The direct trauma to the mouth along with concurring inflammation and possible infection can affect important nerves. Early symptoms are abnormal sensations and numbness of the chin and tongue. Most oral surgeons reduce the risk of nerve damage by making sure any individual wanting a dental implant is a good candidate. Then, if it does occur after surgery, treatment is initiated right away to prevent any long-term damage. Treatment will vary depending on the location and intensity of the injury. So, it can be as simple as regular observation or as severe as more surgery.

Nasal Perforation

Perforation of the nasal sinus is also one of the health risks for dental implants. This event occurs during the oral surgery either by the drilling or placement of dental implants. The nasal floor is torn in the process leaving a hole. Some people are more prone to sinus perforation than others because of the natural construction of their mouth and nasal area. The only way to predict this as a potential risk is through radiology. Prior to performing the work, an oral surgeon must understand the ins and outs of a person’s mouth. Then, if perforation does occur, treatment will occur depending on the extent of the damage. Extremely small holes may require no work while bigger ones will need to be closed up with the use of surrounding tissue.

In conclusion, dental implants replace a lost tooth at the root. After placement, dental implants act and look like a regular tooth. As a result, some people opt for them over dentures. However, there potential health risks of dental implants are serious. Therefore, people seeking to get them must be good candidates and also be ready to deal with adverse consequences.


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