Dental implants can be the ideal solution for missing teeth when they are placed by a qualified dentist. However, dentists do not receive the training for such an advanced procedure in dental school. They must pursue extensive training after graduation. The American Dental Association doesn’t recognize dental implants as an area of specialty. This means that dentists who have no dental implant training can launch into the practice. The unfortunate consequence is that patients are put at risk. You can protect yourself from the most common causes of dental implant failure by choosing a dentist who has this additional training and the experience to back it up.
Three main factors contribute to dental implant failure: infection, loose implants, and misplaced implants. We’ll discuss them here.
Causes of Infection
If a dental implant has become infected, the tissue around it may become sore or inflamed. There will also be a bad taste or smell or a fixture that has become loose. This can happen for a number of reasons.
Bacteria can enter the site during any surgical procedure. This type of infection can be cleared up with antibiotics, and some dentists will routinely administer a round of antibiotics before or after surgery.
Infections can also be the result of dentists who try to save money by using sub-standard fixtures or “one-size-fits-all” crowns. High-quality fixtures have a precise fit, and no gaps are left to invite bacteria. In addition crowns that are designed specifically to fit your mouth will not put pressure on the surrounding tissue that can lead to inflammation and infection.
Causes of Loose Implants
Cost cutting on the part of dentists can also lead to loose implants. If your teeth have been missing for a long time, the natural process is for your body to reabsorb the bone in your jaw. If there is not enough bone structure left to support a dental implant, a good dentist will build up the area with a bone graft. Some dentists don’t know how to accomplish bone grafting and will try to place an implant without it.
Loose implants can also be caused by the use of cheap fixtures, untreated infection, or placing the crown on the implant before the body has had enough healing time. After surgery, the body will surround the implant with bone-forming minerals and actually integrate it into the jawbone. If this process is not complete, the resulting pressure of chewing with the crown can loosen the implant.
Causes of Misplaced Implants
If the dentist does not use 3D radiographs or another technology to fully visualize the site of surgery, implants can and have been placed in sinus and nose cavities. There are also numerous instances of implants impinging on nerves, leading to numbness. Sometimes the damage is not permanent and replacing the implant can solve the problem.
Dr. Reed’s Qualifications
Dr. Davis Reed has pursued extensive post-graduate training in dental implants from several institutions. He completed courses at the Blue Sky Bio Academy in Florida, and a series of courses at the Misch International Implant Institute, which conducts courses in various places around the country. He also completed the Comprehensive Implantology Continuum, an 84-credit series presented at Columbia University in New York.