Dental Implants

  • Medical Author:
    Donna S. Bautista, DDS

    Dr. Donna S. Bautista, DDS, completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California, San Diego with a bachelor of arts in biochemistry and cell biology. During her time at UC San Diego, she was involved in basic research including studying processes related to DNA transcription in the field of molecular biology. Upon graduation, she went on to attend dental school at the University of California, San Francisco. In addition to her formal dental training, she provided dental care for underserved communities in the Bay Area through clinics and health fairs. She also worked toward mentoring high school students interested in the field of dentistry.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

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What are the potential risks and complications with a dental implant?

With any surgery, there are always some risks and potential complications to the patient or to the success of a dental implant. Careful planning is important to ensure that a patient is healthy enough to undergo oral surgery and heal properly. Just like any oral surgery procedure, bleeding disorders, infections, allergies, existing medical conditions, and medications need careful review prior to proceeding with treatment. Fortunately, the success rate is quite high and failures usually occur in the unlikely event of infection, fracture of the dental implant, overloading of the dental implant, damage to the surrounding area (nerves, blood vessels, teeth), poor positioning of the dental implant, or poor bone quantity or quality. Again, careful planning with a qualified surgeon can help avoid these issues. In many cases, another attempt can be made to replace a failed dental implant after the requisite time for healing has taken place.

What follow-up care is necessary after getting a dental implant?

Dental implants have the risk of developing a condition called "peri-implantitis." This refers to inflammation of the gum and bone surrounding the implant. The inflammation of the surrounding tissues is often due to excessive biting forces on the implant or bacterial infection. Peri-implantitis can result in the loss of an implant if left untreated. After getting a dental implant, routine maintenance care at home and follow-up at the dental office are essential in avoiding this condition. Home care involves routine brushing and flossing to keep food debris and plaque from sitting around the dental implant. In the dental office, the surrounding soft and hard tissues are examined and special tools are used to remove harder calcified deposits around the dental implant. If necessary, the bite is adjusted to ensure that the implant does not sustain heavy biting forces.

REFERENCES:

Schou, S. et al. "A 41-year History of A Mandibular Subperiosteal Implant." Clinical Oral Implants Research 11.2 (2000): 171-178.

Singh, K. et al. "Temporary Anchorage Devices -- Mini-implants." National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery 1.1 (2010): 30-34.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/7/2015
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