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What Risks Are Associated with Dental Implants
Salem, OR

Image of a dental professional showing a patient that a dental implant is affordable and a good fit for her, at Fairmount Dental Center.Dental implants offer a long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing solution for those suffering from missing teeth.  The dental implant procedure involves the surgical insertion of an artificial tooth root into the jawbone. This is a permanent tooth restoration that we can perform for you here at Fairmount Dental Center with Dr. Luisa Snyder.

Dental implant restorations can be done to replace a single missing tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch of teeth.  Through single-tooth implants, multiple-tooth implants, implant-supported dentures, and the All on 4 Treatment Concept, there are dental implants available to meet every need.

Understanding Dental Implants

Despite its high success rates and immense functional and aesthetic benefits, the procedure, like any surgical intervention, carries a degree of risk. These risks, from minor, recoverable complications to less common yet significant consequences, are critical components for patients to discuss with their dental professionals prior to reaching a fully informed decision. 

Embarking on the journey towards a healthier, brighter smile through dental implantation requires a thorough understanding of the potential risks associated with this procedure. 

Possible Risks Associated with Dental Implants

Like all medical procedures, though rare, risks do exist with dental implant restorations. Understanding the dental implant procedure and the potential risks and how to mitigate them can help ensure your procedure is successful and your smile is restored. 

Here are some of the most common risks you should be aware of:


As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection. This can occur at the implant site, especially if post-operation care instructions are not followed properly.

Implant Failure

In some cases, the dental implant may not fuse with your jawbone, resulting in what is known as an implant failure. Factors contributing to this may include inadequate bone density, poor dental hygiene, certain chronic diseases, or smoking. This failure can lead to discomfort, additional procedures, and increased costs.

Damage to Surrounding Structures

During the implant surgery, there is a risk of inadvertent damage to the structures near the implant site. These may include the surrounding teeth, blood vessels, tissue, and nerves. If nerve damage occurs, you may experience numbness, pain or tingling in your natural teeth, gums, lips or chin.

Development of Sinus Problems

In cases where dental implants are placed in the upper jaw, there can be a risk of them protruding into one of your sinus cavities. This complication, known as a sinus perforation, can lead to chronic sinusitis or other sinus-related problems.

Inflammation and Allergic Reactions

Post-surgical inflammation is common, but if it persists, it might indicate a problem. Additionally, while rare, some people may have allergic reactions to the titanium alloy used in dental implants, resulting in inflammation, itching, and rash. Most patients do not experience allergic reactions to titanium.

Long-Term Complications

Over time, improperly cared for or untreated dental implants can lead to complications such as peri-implant disease. This condition, similar to gum disease, can result in bone loss around the implant and potential failure of the implant. It is important to keep your dental implants clean, just as you would with your natural teeth, with regular brushing and flossing.

Nerve Damage

Nerve damage, resulting in pain, numbness, or tingling, is another potential risk. It's typically caused by an implant placed too close to a nerve.

Gum Recession

If the dental implants are not placed correctly or the gums are not properly cared for post-operation, you may experience gum recession. This exposes the base of the dental implant and could lead to further complications such as infection, additional surgeries and potential implant failure.

Bone Loss

Lost bone density in the jaw is a serious risk associated with dental implants. If your jawbone doesn't have sufficient density or quality, the implant may not be able to fuse properly, potentially leading to implant failure. Moreover, in some rare cases, dental implants could even lead to further bone loss.

Prosthetic Problems

There can also be complications with the prosthetic used on top of the implant, such as your crown or bridge. Problems can include poor fit, loosening over time, fracturing, or other mechanical issues that can affect your ability to chew or speak, and require additional treatment.

Delayed Healing

Certain factors like smoking, alcohol consumption, or underlying health issues like diabetes can delay the healing process after the implant surgery. This prolongs the overall treatment period and could contribute to other health risks.

Emotional and Psychological Issues

Dental implant surgery and recovery can be a long and challenging process. It is one that requires a lot of patience. This can lead to an increased risk of anxiety, depression, or other emotional and psychological issues, particularly if complications occur or the implants fail.

Dental Implants Have a High Success Rate

Despite there being possible risks associated with dental implantation, dental implants have a high success rate of 95 to 98 percent.  These restorations can last up to 25 years, with only the dental crown possibly needing replacement after a period of 10 years or so.  Dental implants provide a permanent answer to tooth loss.

Find Out if You Are a Candidate for Dental Implants

Ultimately, although dental implants do come with some risks, under the careful guidance of an experienced dentist like Dr. Luisa Snyder, these risks can be minimized, paving the way for a healthier, more confident smile.

We will perform a thorough screening before surgery to determine if you are a candidate for dental impalnts.  We will take a detailed medical history, review your lifestyle habits, and inquire about any medications you are taking or medical conditions that you have. This process will enable our dental team to make well-informed decisions about your suitability for dental implants. 

"The road to a flawless smile is paved with informed decisions and meticulous care. Being well aware of the risks and complications related to dental implants can help streamline the process and ensures optimal outcomes."
- Anonymous Dental Surgeon

Also, when you come in, you can ask any dental implant frequently asked questions (FAQ) that you may have.  We understand that seeking dental implant restoration is a big choice, one we want you to be confident and certain about.  Contact Fairmount Dental Center today to schedule a consultation.
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