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Dental Implants: Are They for Me?

By Thomas D. Taylor, D.D.S., M.S.D., and William R. Laney, D.M.D., M.S.

Are There Any Risks to My Health with Implant Treatment?

Some health factors are important when considering dental implants:

Surgery or Anesthetic
Usual precautions associated with a local or general anesthetic must be taken. Sometimes an opening into the sinus cavity above the upper teeth or a nerve injury can occur. These incidents seldom result in permanent damage.

People who experience abnormal psychologic stresses or are not motivated may have problems with surgery and may not be able or willing to follow oral hygiene instructions. However, persons who avoid contact with other people because they are concerned about their missing or unattractive teeth may be helped.

There are some temporary conditions that can result from implant placement: pain and swelling of gums, lip, or tongue; speech problems; and inflammation (heat, redness, swelling, and pain) of the gums. Possible long-term difficulties may include nerve injury, bone loss if the implants fail, overgrowth of gums, and mouth or general bacterial infection. For those people who have other body part replacements or heart valve problems, endocarditis (inflammation of the inside lining of the heart) or infection may be a risk.

All material is copyrighted by Quintessence Publishing Co., Inc. and reproduced with permission.