If you have missing teeth, dental implants are one of the most effective solutions to restore your smile. Implants fit into the jawbone and fuse to form a durable, synthetic tooth.
While issues with dental implants are rare, they do happen from time to time. In some cases, the growth of your jawbone or the structure of surrounding teeth may affect the success of a dental implant. In addition, accidents such as collisions to the mouth can affect the implant and cause oral health issues.
It's a good idea to tell if your implant has any problems so you can have a dentist correct the issue as soon as possible.
1. When the implant becomes loose or broken
Perhaps the most common (yet rare in the overall picture) issue with dental implants is the crown becoming loose or broken. The bottom part of an implant is made of titanium (which fuses naturally with your jawbone). Therefore, it's less likely to become loose, even under heavy impact.
However, the crown (the top part of the implant) can break or fall off in certain circumstances. A broken crown can affect your oral health by exerting pressure on surrounding teeth and causing difficulty in chewing. If you notice your implant is loose/broken, consult a dentist right away.
2. If an implant causes frequent discomfort
In rare cases, a dental implant may not have been correctly placed in the jawbone. This may cause pressure around the jaw and nerves (as they grow to accommodate the implant).
If you feel frequent pain or numbness in your lower jaw, the implant may have been drilled too close to the nerve endings. Consult your dentist to have x-rays or CT scans carried out in order to correct the positioning of the implant.
3. If it becomes infected
Another possible, yet rare complication is peri-implantitis. This is essentially an infection of the gums and jawbone surrounding the dental implant. If the gums and jaws are inflamed after an implant is inserted, they can eventually become infected. Infection may also cause an implant to become loose.
Peri-implantitis may occur in patients who have diabetes, are frequent smokers, or have weak immune systems. If you notice inflammation around your implant, consult a dentist right away.
While the above complications are indeed rare, being aware of these conditions can help you ensure that your implant procedure was done successfully (and that any complications are immediately addressed).