The placement of dental implants near you is a dental specialization practiced by surgical prosthodontists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons. In recent years, the procedures and techniques for the placement of implants have been polished and perfected. As a result, implants have a well-established success rate of over 90%.

That enviable success rate does not mean that complications and challenges do not arise. Potential complications and challenges are addressed in preoperative treatment planning, preparation for surgery while providing recovery advice and during the recovery procedure. Here are four areas of potential issues that can arise, and what you need to know to minimize the risks that they present.

Neglecting dental hygiene

First things first. No, your implants themselves are not vulnerable to tooth decay. It is still extremely important to maintain your good daily dental hygiene habits around and on the exposed surfaces of your implants. Your teeth and gum tissue adjacent to your implants are vulnerable to tooth decay and periodontal disease-fueled debris and bacteria that can accumulate on the implants. You can reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease and reduce the risk of developing peri-implantitis by keeping your implants as clean as possible. If gum disease or peri-implantitis do develop, they can undermine the bone tissue on which your implant relies entirely.

Insufficient bone density

Dental implants in Kelowna are placed directly into the bone of your jaw. Placing a dental implant requires that your jaw contain sufficient volume and density of bone tissue. Your dentist will confirm that you have sufficient bone mass and density before any implant surgery begins. If the preoperative planning does reveal concerns with the volume and/or density of your jaw bone tissue, those concerns do not necessarily rule out receiving dental implants from a dentist in Kelowna. A dentist near you can provide bone grafting to improve the ability of your jaw to hold implants or propose using zygomatic implants that aren’t placed in your jaw but in other bones of your face.

Prior medical conditions

Another step that will be accomplished during preoperative planning by and consultation with your dentist is a thorough review of your medical dental history. The reason that this step is so important is that there are some pre-existing medical conditions that can affect your ability to heal from surgery (and may even affect your eligibility to undergo implant surgery at all). The following circumstances are examples of conditions that may require careful investigation and planning if the procedure is to go ahead: prior or current ongoing cancer treatment; poorly controlled periodontal disease; poorly controlled diabetes; smoking; and alcoholism.

Micromovement

During your recovery period following implant surgery — a period that lasts approximately 17 weeks — your implant must remain stable in your jaw in order to allow the implant and your bone tissue to bond completely. Your implants will be placed precisely where required to be and remain stable for decades (or your lifetime) based on dental imaging, but potentially damaging movement and stress on the implant is possible.

Even the smallest movements (called micromovements) of the implant within your jaw during that 17-week period can put that process of healing and osseointegration (and the long-term integrity of your implant) at risk. If your implant does make micromovements within your jaw, you’ll experience significant pain. If that happens, let your dentist know immediately. To minimize the risk of causing micromovements in your jaw, follow your dentist’s instructions about caring for your implant following surgery, especially the instructions to avoid certain foods.

Your dentist’s goal throughout the process of preparing and providing dental implants is to be sure you’re never surprised. If you experience any symptoms or sensations that you did not expect or that concern you, do not hesitate to contact a dentist near you for advice and support.