Dental Implant Mistakes and Dangers
Dental Implant Errors, Complications, and Dangers
Though dental implants have an extremely positive effect on patients’ comfort, quality of life, and dental health when they are done correctly, you need to be careful who you pick as your dentist when arranging for these procedures. Dental implants have developed rapidly over the past few years, meaning that most dentists currently practicing were not fully trained in their placement and use. In fact, implantology was not part of the typical dental school curriculum until very recently.
Dental implants are popular among patients because they restore eating and speaking function to nearly original levels, and last for a long time, also. They are equally popular among dentists, who recognize both the effectiveness of the treatment and the profit potential it offers them due to the eagerness with which the procedure is received by the public.
Unfortunately, this means many implants are placed by dentists who are not fully qualified to do so, and who may be only partly conversant with proper methods. This, in turn, leads to many medical errors, poorly placed implants, and resulting pain, suffering, and malpractice suits. Malpractice claims for faulty implants currently lead the field in dental related litigation.
This is no reason for you to avoid using dental implants, however. It simply means that it’s prudent to check the background and qualifications of the dentist that you pick to help restore your oral health and function through the use of titanium implants and the dentures and bridges mounted atop them. Several key techniques at picking a good dentist for this procedure include:
- Make certain that he or she has updated the appropriate skills through plenty of continuing education.
- Ask for credentials and references.
- Don’t base your choice on price alone (or even consider price – those offering steep discounts may not be those best qualified to provide you with a quality set of implants).
Complications and Problems from Poor Quality Implants or Poor X-Rays
One of the reasons why it is necessary to be careful in picking a dentist to surgically place dental implants is that the problems caused with improperly placed or failed placement are potentially severe. Limited treatments, such as crowns or root canals, can do no more than cause the extraction of a single tooth if things go wrong – and this represents a maximum. Usually, the consequences are not even that bad.
However, dental implants involve much more of the jaw and oral structure than these strictly finite procedures. A failed implant job harms not a single tooth, but possibly your whole jaw, causing bone loss (which then needs to be corrected using bone grafts), changes in the appearance and shape of your face, dangerous infections in the sinuses, chronic numbness or pain, and a list of other difficulties which can be corrected, but only at additional cost.
Some of the problems that can be caused by inexpert implant placement include:
- Avoidance of bone grafts to keep costs low may give the implants insufficient bone to “grip,” causing them to tear loose later, with consequent great pain and expensive treatment.
- Dentists unfamiliar with correct implant placement may screw the ends through into the sinus or even the nasal passages. Perforating the sinuses has obvious, serious drawbacks, such as possible major infections, drainage into the mouth, and so on. Furthermore, parts of the implant extending into the sinus have no bone support, so the whole implant may come loose.
- Some dentists fail to use three-dimensional CT scans when working on the lower jaw, which can result in some notable problems. A large nerve runs through the midline of the lower jaw, but can be “moved” upward by bone loss above it. Thus, without using a 3D CT scan to determine the neurological channel’s current position, there is a risk that the ends of implants will be screwed into this nerve.
- Only about 15% of the 80 or so dental implant manufacturers produce good-quality implants, according to Dr. Gibbs’ ballpark (but well-informed) estimates. If the dentist you pick uses one of the poorer quality types, you can encounter difficulties with the lifespan of the implant, its compatibility with your body, and/or its fit.
- If the dentist fails to make a thorough review of your other medical records, factors which could seriously affect the implant could be overlooked. All medical conditions need to be considered carefully when planning how best to place an implant.
- There is also a chance that a given individual will simply respond poorly to implants. If your body naturally rejects implants, there will be problems regardless of the dentist’s skill, knowledge, or dedication, though luckily lack of biocompatibility is fairly uncommon.
The Difference Offered by Dr. Gibbs
Keenly aware of all these potential problems, Dr. Gibbs offers some of the best implantology in the field today. Among the other things you can count on us for are:
- Dr. Gibbs keeps abreast of the latest developments through continuing education and top dental journals.
- We only start placing implants after thoroughly examining and assessing your oral condition. Bone quantity, quality, and configuration are determined in detail using 3D CT scans (se our section on CT Cone Beam Imaging)
- Only the highest quality implant materials are used at Dr. Gibbs’ office, ensuring maximum biocompatibility, best fit, and a durable, long-lasting enhancement to your chewing and speaking.