Risks Associated with Dental Implants
Dental implants are often used to replace missing teeth since they offer a permanent solution for tooth replacement and because they are virtually indistinguishable from the patient’s natural teeth. Placing a dental implant is considered dental surgery, but it does not carry significant risks for most patients who are in good health.
The process of placing a dental implant involves surgically implanting a titanium or titanium alloy rod into the jaw. In three to six months, the bone will fuse with the rod, forming a tight bond. Once the bone has completely healed, the dentist restores the implant with a porcelain or ceramic crown, completing the process of replacing the missing tooth.
Like all dental surgeries, there are some risks associated with placing dental implants. Although dentists take every step possible to avoid infection, in some cases bacteria can enter the wound and cause infection. Another minor risk is nerve damage in the area of the jaw where the implant is placed. Finally, in rare cases, an implant placed in the upper jaw may penetrate the sinus cavity.
The risk of infection, nerve damage, or sinus problems is relatively minimal, but implants can fail for other reasons. Smoking, diabetes, certain medications, or some other health conditions may increase the risk of implant failure. Advise your Northridge dentist if you smoke, and about all of your chronic health problems. This information will help your Northridge dental implants specialist determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. There are alternatives to dental implants such as porcelain bridges, which may be a better option for replacing missing teeth in some cases.
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