Are you experiencing pain, discomfort, inconvenience in your routine life due to tooth loss or damage? Are you trying to find the ideal fix for these problems to lead a happier, trouble-free life? With long-lasting results that can significantly better your life quality, dental implants can be the option that you have been looking for. However, this surgery is not for everyone and even though they have a very high success rate, there remains the risk of dental implant side effects and complications

Dental implant side effects and complications
Dental implant side effects and complications

If you are wondering if a dental implant is right for you, you may also want to read up on the possible problems after the treatment apart from other things like the procedure, the cost, and the aftercare.

Dental implant

1. What are dental implants and why are they done?

Dental implants play as the replacement for damaged or lost teeth. They typically are the most suitable solution for patients in good health conditions. Dental implants have been in use for many decades and are in fact the most popular implant type for their proven efficacy and durability. 

Dental implants can be a good fix for:

  • Substantial tooth decay;
  • Dental infection;
  • Tooth damage as a result of trauma;
  • An option instead of dentures;
  • Gum diseases.

Implants are inserted into the jawbone to replace the tooth roots through a surgical procedure instead of being placed on top of a natural tooth like a dental crown. For an implant procedure, the dental care provider will attach the crown on the implant as the last step.

Dental implants are made to be a permanent tooth replacement. Nonetheless, users may want to have them replaced after a while.

Dental implant side effects and complications
Dental implant side effects and complications

2. What happens during a dental implant procedure?

It is of great importance that you seek dental specialists with extensive training and experience for your implant procedure. That can be a general dentist, oral surgeon, or periodontist.

The steps below are involved in procedure of an implant surgery:

  • Put you under anesthesia. They will calculate the right dose of local anesthesia to numb your gums up. If you want to be sedated, meaning you’ll fall asleep during the procedure, the provider may accommodate that request as well;
  • Make a cut in your gums. As soon as you feel comfortable with the help of the numbing medication, the professional will create an incision in your gums to give space for the upcoming  dental implant. This will reveal the bone underneath for the implant to be located;
  • Prepare the jaw. Your dentist will use specialized tools to make a hole in your jawbone. They’ll expand the it until it is of the exact diameter for your the implant;
  • Position the  implant. The provider will place the  implant into your jaw with extra care;
  • Seal the cuts. Finally, your dentist will reposition the gums and stitch the incision shut.-

The procedure of  dental implant is usually the same for every patient. That said, in some cases, the dentist may place a dental implant and restoration, like a dental crown or bridge at the same appointment. Usually you will need to wait a couple of months for the implant to fully heal prior to the final restoration for safety purposes. The dental provider can create a temporary, often detachable, restoration for the patient to use throughout the healing time.

3. What are the potential issues following an implant placement?

It is of paramount importance that the patient have a discussion about the risks and complications involved in a dental implant procedure with the dental provider. The dentist will let you know if dental implants are a good fit for you so you can make the best decision for yourself.

3.1. Infection 

Every surgical procedure comes with a risk of infection and a dental implant is no exception. The dental care provider will provide you with directions on how to keep your surgical area clean during the healing process. Seek medical attention right away if you experience one of the following signs in the wound site that can be indicative of an infection:

  • Pain;
  • Fluid draining;
  • Swelling.

If you develop an infection, the dentist may recommend further procedures to treat it.

3.2. Loose dental implant

The implant site will start to heal for the implants to be fused into the jawbone in a process known as osseointegration, which is the key factor in the dental implant success. Osseointegration usually takes months to complete.

If the dental implant is not anchored into the jawbone properly, an implant failure occurs. When that happens, the dentist will carry out a procedure to remove the implant. Another dental implant surgery can be carried out on the patient as long as the affected site has completely healed.

3.3. Receding gums 

There is a possibility that a dental implant receiver notices that their gums are starting to recede following the surgery. This can cause pain and inflammation in the gum. In this case, the patient needs to consult the dentist and get an assessment to prevent the risk of having to remove the whole dental implant.

3.4. Nerve damage

There is a chance of nerve damage resulting from a dental implant surgery. Prior to the procedure, the dentist is supposed to take X-rays of your mouth to locate all the nerves. Nerve damage can be very serious and lead to long-term consequences, therefore, always consult the risks with your dental provider before any surgical procedure including dental implants.

3.5. Less frequent problems

Sinus damage

A major risk that a dental implant surgery may entail is damage to the sinuses as the patient’s sinuses are right above the upper jaw. Dental implants as a top tooth replacement may penetrate through the sinus area, causing discomfort and potential infection. If this happens, contact the dentist to be advised on how to proceed.

Sometimes the dental implant procedure leaves effects on the surrounding teeth. If there are existing insignificant issues like tooth decay or root damage to these teeth, the dental implant can deteriorate them. That is why the dentist will give your teeth a thorough examination and take care of any problems detected prior to the implant procedure.

Damage from trauma

Trauma or aggressive force can break or loosen up a dental implant like with any original tooth. Sometimes you may accidentally put excessive force on the implant site, for example, if you have a condition called bruxism, or teeth grinding as you sleep at night. Those with bruxism should wear a mouthguard in their sleep to prevent their implant area and natural teeth from damage.


A long-term condition that may be caused by a failed dental implant is peri-implantitis. By definition, it is a type of gum disease that leads to bone loss around the dental implants. The main cause of this complication is untreated, constant inflammation around the dental implant area.

According to scientific research, peri-implantitis may take around 5 years before it progresses into a serious problem and shows symptoms. These signs are swelling and bleeding at the surgical site.

Implant rejection

In very rare cases, the patient’s body may reject the placed dental implant. As implants are made of metals like titanium, those who have metal sensitivity or allergy reactions to metals bear a risk of dental implant rejection. Therefore, it is recommended that you receive metal sensitivity testing prior to the dental implant placement.

Dental implant side effects and complications
Dental implant side effects and complications

4. How to prevent side effects and complications from dental implants?

Considering dental implants are like the real deal, proper care on a daily basis and periodic oral visits need to be done for the implants to last longer and to prevent problems. In particular, the patient should:

  • Commit to thorough oral hygiene. Try to keep your dental implants, false teeth, and gum tissue clean just like your original teeth by bruising, flossing, and rinsing on a daily basis;
  • Pay regular visits to the dentist. Have checkups with the dental provider to make sure your implants are functioning properly and healthy. Also receive in-clinic cleanings as advised by the dentist;
  • Avoid poor dental habits. Avoid chewing on hard foods, like ice or hard candy because these can cause breakage to your restoration like crows or even your original teeth. Also refrain from tobacco and products containing caffeine to prevent staining of teeth. If you have bruxism, meaning you grind or clench teeth, seek medical attention.

5. When to seek medical attention?

The dentist will give you antibiotics to keep infection away. You may also need prescription or OTC painkillers to help with any discomfort and pain.

Mild problems like bruising and swelling should go away on their own in a couple of days following surgery. Nonetheless, if these problems persist or worsen after a week, you need to contact your dentist.

Initial recovery takes several weeks and osseointegration may take many months to complete. Dental implant receivers should contact their dental provider if they notice the implants are loosening or moving or still painful after several weeks. The earlier the problems are solved, the lower the risk of serious complications is.

6. A note from Sydney Dental – your trusted provider

Hopefully after this read with Sydney Dental you have grasped a good idea of what the side effects and complications associated with a dental implant procedure are and how to prevent them as well as if it is something you need for the time being. If you are still unsure of which treatment to go with for a new unforgettably stunning smile in your particular case, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are at 499-501 Ba Hat St, Ward 8, District 10, HCMC looking forward to your visit. You may also call us at (028) 3504 9440 for a free no-obligation comprehensive consultation. Your pretty, shiny smile is 100% guaranteed at Sydney Dental!

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