Dental implants are permanent, fixed, non-removable prosthesis that are placed in the patient's mouth to deal with the problem of missing teeth. They consist of a screw which is drilled into the bone, so as to make sure that they stay in their place. The cost of these implants ranges between $1,250 to $3,000 per tooth, and the overall cost can increase to as much as $15,000 if bone regeneration and sinus elevation are required. Of the FAQs about this treatment method, quite a few revolve around its safety―an issue which you need to take into consideration before you opt for it.
Risks Associated with Dental Implants
No procedure done in any clinic is ever risk free. Being one of the most invasive dental treatments available, this procedure, along with its many upsides, has quite a few issues and risks that every patient needs to be made aware of. Given below are the details of these issues and risks that need to be taken into consideration when trying to gauge the safety of this treatment option.
The foremost thing that you need to take into consideration whenever you are getting an implant done, is that there is always a chance that the body will not accept it. Any foreign object that is placed in the body, comes with the uncertainty of it being accepted or rejected. These implants are made of titanium, which is supposed to be the most biocompatible element known, and that reduces the chances of rejection by a significant extent. (Titanium is also used in knee and hip replacements.) On the contrary, there is a higher chance of rejection and dental implant failure when the implant procedure is carried out in an environment wherein sterilization is not given importance.
When an incision is made in the body, it becomes a susceptible point for infection. This, in turn, implies that sterilization is a must during the implant procedure, and not maintaining the same can increase the risk of an infection. In rare cases, the infection can be severe enough to lead to an infection of the jawbone, which can spread easily. Yet another factor that can lead to a problem includes the possible rusting of the implant. Although titanium is water resistant to a great extent, if a person has a habit of drinking coffee or tea very often, then he may run into this risk.
When an implant is placed in the bone, the crown is not placed immediately, but after a few weeks or months. Although it is not exactly a possible risk when it comes to safety, there is a gap in the oral cavity for a short span of time. In this time, the adjoining teeth can drift into the place where the crown will be placed later. This may not only lead to unnecessary crowding, but also cause problem when it is time to place the crown on the screw of the implant.
If the implant is being placed in the lower jaw, then there is a chance of some damage being induced to the nerves present in the bone in course of drilling of the bone. However, this is a very rare problem, as usually the proximity of the nerves is gauged on an X-ray taken before initiating the procedure. If it is seen that the nerves are very close to the position where the screw will be placed, then the case is reviewed to find a way of bypassing this problem. Hence, the chances and risk of nerve damage or paresthesia is quite low.
Why to Still go for Dental Implants?
After going through all the possible risks and problems that a person may face if he opts for dental implants, one may start reconsidering this treatment option. The fact, however, is that the chances of these problems are very less; in fact, none, if adequate precautions are taken. If the highest levels of sterilization are maintained, then the chances of rejection or infection are as good as none. Also, an antibiotic cover is usually given when an implant is placed. When adequate precautions are taken, then the chances of complications arising during or after the placement of an implant are reduced by a great extent.
So, it is safe to conclude that this is a treatment option that comes with very few risks, which many dentists and patients will say, are worth taking at the end of the day. That it is the best method of dealing with the problem of missing teeth permanently, also works in its favor. Having said that, if you are still skeptical about the risks associated with dental implants, then you should ask your dentist about them in detail and also inquire about other treatment alternatives that are available for replacing missing teeth in your mouth.