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Dental Implants Surgery & Placement Problems

dental implants

Dental Implants Surgery
& Placement Problems

Surgical errors during the dental implant procedure related with improper placement of the fixture are a common cause of dental implant complications or failures. Choosing an experienced dental professional can minimize the risk of dental implant surgery errors.

Implant surgery errors - Implant placement errors


Several dental implant problems can be attributed to surgery errors either due to poor pre-operative planning or due to surgical errors during the implant placement procedure.

Related dental implant problems can be osseointegration failure, infection or breakage.

Implant placement errors include:

  • lack of healthy bone - If the dentist decides to place an implant in a position where there is not enough bone for the implant to remain stable, the implant may move around within the bone and bonding will not occur. Combined with overloading issues, the lack of healthy bone may even cause jaw fracture.
  • implant placed too close to another implant - the existence of enough healthy bone around the implant is necessary for initiating the bone build-up and proper bonding. If the implant is placed too close to another implant there is not enough bone in this area to promote the osseointegration process.
  • implant too close to natural tooth roots - except of the osseointegration problem the implant may damage the existing tooth roots.
  • fewer implants than needed - overloading - many dental implant problems can occur if the patient (or dentist) decides to use less implants than necessary for supporting a bridge or denture in an effort to reduce the total cost of dental implants procedure. The implants have to withstand excessive pressure that can cause problem in implant-bone bonding, inflammation, bone loss or implant breakage.
  • off-line implant placement - lateral loading - if the implant is not placed in its proper position, except of the obvious aesthetic problems caused, the force distribution on the implant's surface will be uneven and may cause the implant to break.
  • nerve damage - injury of the inferior alveolar bone is a rare dental implant problem that can occur during the implant placement. If the nerve fails to heal it may be necessary to remove the implant.
  • wrong width of implantation area - if the diameter of the drilled area is not correct for the selected implant, the forces when it is placed may be either too much or not enough for proper osseointegration.

Causes of dental implant breakage

The breakage of the implant fixture is a rare condition that could happen if the structural integrity of the implant has deteriorated due to one or more of the following conditions:

  • overloading - the ideal use of a dental implant is to replace a single tooth. Due to the high cost of dental implants, it is common for dentists to use them to support multiple teeth on bridges or dentures. An implant may have to withstand the biting pressure of several teeth. This puts the implant and the jawbone around it in much more stress than if the natural tooth was in place. The implant's material may not stand the pressure and break.
  • uneven loading - Overloading may also occur because of incorrect placement of the implant which could result in uneven force distribution on the implant's surface. Dental implants should ideally be placed so that the biting forces are directed straight downward onto the dental implant. This is especially important for patients without enough healthy jawbone.
  • material quality - some dentists in their effort to reduce their costs and offer to their patients affordable dental implants may decide to use some of the cheap implants available from low cost manufacturers. These implants are not designed with the highest standards but they cost as low as $5-$10. Low cost dental implants have not the same tolerance in pressure as the high quality ones, and it is expected to have a higher rate of breakage.
  • Bruxism - bruxism is the habit of clenching or grinding teeth, usually during sleep. Excessive force from teeth grinding or clenching can cause the implant to break or become loose due to bone loss. In either case the result is dental implant failure. Bruxism can also cause serious problems in the osseointegration process of the implant in cases of immediate loading. Patients with bruxism habit must use mouth-guards to reduce the amount of force applied on the implants and decrease the risk of dental implant failure.

Reviewing the list of problems that can cause dental implant failure, it is clear that the implant dentist's experience and skill are critical factors for avoiding tooth implant problems.

Several complications related to dental implants placement may cause discomfort and require additional treatment and care, but implant failure can be avoided in most cases with proper care.

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Last update: 01/01/2017