Dental implant surgery does include a risk, although the complications are rarely serious. Surgery on the jaw has the possibility of causing nerve damage or bruising to the surrounding area. This can cause a slight lack of sensation to the lower lip. While most nerve damage does heal, there are incidences in which the nerve damage is permanent. When an implant is placed next to a natural tooth, it is possible that the root of the natural tooth could be affected. For many patient the natural tooth will heal or your doctor may suggest root canal treatment.
Most treatment is successful and the benefits usually outweigh any chances of risk. Patient lives are greatly enhanced by no longer suffering with removable prosthetics, such as dentures or partials. The advantages of saving the surrounding teeth are an advantage to the patient as surrounding healthy teeth can become damaged or eventual bone loss may occur due to removable dental prosthetics. With today’s technology and modern techniques, dental implants are the treatment of choice for most people with missing teeth. Your dentist will perform a variety of test and a complete medical screening to determine if you will be a successful candidate. A comprehensive oral health exam will further predict the chances of success and reduce any potential risk to the patient. The trend toward dental implants will continue to grow as the life expectancy of our population increases. The fact is, most people will out live their teeth.
“Most treatments are successful and the benefits outweigh the risk.”
David Zelby, D.D.S., a prosthodontist at Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta, works in tandem with an oral surgeon in treating his dental implant patients. A prosthodontist is a specialist in dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA), which focuses on the restoration of teeth. Bringing a higher level of education to the procedure, the prosthodontist is the “architect,” of the dental implant team. He will construct and correctly place the “crown,” for the implant placed in the jaw. “We have achieved a high level of success both in fewer complications and greater satisfaction of the patient when taking a specialist team approach to the procedure,” says Dr. Zelby. Working with an oral surgeon or periodontist to perform the actual surgery and placement of the implant the prosthdontist places and constructs a tooth that looks, feels and performs just like your natural tooth. One of the important factors in the success of the procedure is patient education. Knowing what to expect and having your questions answered before treatment increases the likelihood of a satisfactory result. If considering dental implants, research the complete implant procedure, talk to other patients who have completed dental implant treatment and ask your dentist to view completed cases of actual patients.