Dental implants can be a worrisome thing. Think about it: you’re getting pieces of metal and acrylic fused to your jaw bone.
It’s a surgery, and any sane person would be worried about it.
And getting a dental implant can be extra scary, if you are not totally sure of the risks and benefits of them. Hopefully, this article will ease any fear you may have and give you an objective look at dental implants.
Dental Implants: Safe or Not?
Dentists have been using dental implants for a long time, and the technology has advanced quite a bit. Implants are now very sophisticated devices placed by heavily trained professionals. As of right now, it’s one of the strongest and most reliable ways to replace missing teeth.
Benefits Of Dental Implants
The most obvious benefit of dental implants is that they replace missing, damaged, or infected teeth. This allows patients to return to eating and speaking with confidence and comfort, which can allow them to live a healthier life.
Implants are durable and usually last a lifetime, sometimes with minimal adjustments. Because they are rooted in the bone using a screw, they prevent bone loss and stay secured.
Risks Of Dental Implants
Just like any surgery, there are possible complications that could occur. Although rare, problems with an implant are usually minor and fixable.
But if you’re getting a dental implant, you should be aware of some of the dangers and risk factors:
- Damage to teeth, blood vessels, or nerves in the surgical area
- Implant rejection
- Sinus problems
- Material of replacement tooth and potential allergies (usually made of titanium or zirconia)
Obviously, the more experienced the surgeon and the more reliable the method of placement, the less likely these complications can happen.
The Success Rate Of Dental Implants
Generally speaking, dental implants have a success rate of about 95%. This, of course, will vary depending on the patient, the dentist, the number of implants needed, the methods used, and other factors.
Dental implants are inherently safe. The risks come into play when these other factors arise.
Are Titanium Dental Implants Safe?
Titanium dental implants are the norm for the industry and have been for decades. They have an oxide layer that helps fight corrosion, and titanium alloy is very durable.
Most dentists today learn to use them as the standard option, but they are not without risks.
Benefits Of Titanium Implants
Although not every dentist always uses titanium implants, most do because of their great benefits.
Titanium implants can last up to 20 years or longer. Depending on when you get an implant, titanium replacements can last for the rest of your life.
These types of dental implants are strong and can resist high bite pressure. It’s one of the main reasons titanium is the standard in implants.
Risks Of Titanium Implants
Even though they are the standard, there are some dangers when using titanium dental implants.
Corrosion is when a titanium implant degrades and wears down. Even though titanium implants are built to fight corrosion, they are not invincible to it. If corrosion happens in an implant, it can make you very uncomfortable and probably means the implant will need to be replaced.
Some patients have allergic reactions to titanium. You may not know if you are allergic, but if you do know, you should let your dentist know as early as possible.
This is when you get a metal taste in your mouth and sometimes even the sensation of an electric charge when you encounter other metals. Galvanic toxicity can also involve chronic insomnia.
Is Bone Grafting Safe?
Bone grafting is when your dentist takes a small piece of bone from elsewhere in your body (usually the chin or hip) to place inside your jaw to help support the dental implant.
Benefits Of Bone Grafting
Although it’s concerning for some patients, the benefits of opting for a bone graft can be long-lasting.
More Support For Implants
A bone graft can provide more support for a dental implant, therefore allowing it to last longer and be more durable.
Maintain Bone Structure
Bone grafting can also help maintain your natural bone structure, which is good for both your oral health and aesthetics.
Risks Of Bone Grafting
On the other hand, adding an additional surgical step means there are more risks involved.
As with any surgery, infection is always a potential complication. When the body is opened up to the air in any way, bacteria can make its way inside.
The surgeon will be taking bone from your hip, chin, or elsewhere, and that area will be tender and possibly painful.
Are Dental Implants Safe For People With Diabetes?
Sometimes autoimmune diseases like diabetes can increase the chance of complications during dental implant surgery. So is it safe for a diabetic person to get a dental implant?
According to a study by the Journal of the American Dental Association, dental implants are okay for people with diabetes.
The study observed patients with uncontrolled diabetes who also had dental implants. After one year, none of the implants and they found no correlation between elevated blood sugar and implant complications.
This doesn’t mean that if you have diabetes, you won’t experience complications. But having diabetes should not be a concern for you or your dentist in regards to getting a dental implant.
No need to worry — dental implants are safe, assuming your dentist knows what they’re doing. And if you get titanium implants, you’ll be better off than the alternatives.
Yes, there are risks, especially if you need a bone graft. But the benefits outweigh the risks when it comes to dental implants.