When considering dental implants, it’s important to understand their benefits and risks. Although dental implants can offer a long-term solution for those with missing or decayed teeth, associated risks should be considered before deciding to proceed with the procedure.

In this blog post, we will discuss these potential implant risks in detail so that you can make an informed choice about your oral healthcare.


Dental implants offer a long-term replacement for your missing teeth. They are surgically placed into the jawbone, where it fuses with the bone to provide a stable prosthesis.

Dental implants are the most advanced form of artificial teeth available, offering a wide range of benefits to those who choose them. If you’re considering improving your smile with dental implants, here’s a look at some of their benefits.

  • Natural look and feel:Dental implants are designed to match the size, shape, and colour of your teeth to blend well and be indistinguishable from natural teeth . In addition, they also feel like real teeth because they directly attach to your jawbone.

  • Improved speech:
    Missing teeth can cause speech difficulty. When teeth are lost, some sounds become more difficult to produce, affecting one’s pronunciation. Dental implants restore your teeth, making it easier to articulate words.

  • Durability:
    Unlike other tooth replacement options, dental implants last for decades with proper care.

  • Stability: 
    Because the implant titanium post is securely bonded to your jawbone, it won’t slip or shift around like other replacement teeth.

  • Convenience:
    Caring for your dental implants is easy. Brush and floss twice a day as you would with natural teeth.

  • Improved Oral Health:
    When a tooth is lost, the remaining natural teeth move, resulting in gaps between teeth that are hard to clean. This increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Dental implants prevent the remaining teeth from shifting by filling the space left by the missing tooth. This way, it contributes to improving oral health. 

Dental implants offer many advantages compared to traditional tooth replacement methods. They look and feel like real teeth and provide extra support and improved dental health. 

What Happens During Dental Implant Placement?

The dental implant procedure can be broken down into three key steps: evaluation, preparation, and placement.

  • Evaluation
    Before beginning the procedure, patients must consult a dentist to determine if implants are suited for them. The dentist will perform a dental exam involving x-rays and other imaging tools. After the assessment, the dentist will advise if the patient can receive dental implants.

  • Preparation
    Once the evaluation period is complete, preparation begins. This may include additional procedures that will prepare the jawbone for the placement of dental implants, such as tooth extraction, bone grafting, and sinus lift. It is important to note that not all patients require these additional treatments.

  • Placement
    The patient will undergo surgery for the placement of the implant. The implant metal post is embedded in the jawbone to replace the natural tooth root and is given time to heal. After a few months of healing and fusing with the bone, the titanium implant post will be prepared to receive the prosthesis that will be attached to it. An abutment will be placed on top of the implant post. This will serve as the connector piece that will join the prosthesis and the implant post. The prosthesis can be a crown, bridge or denture.
Dentalcare of Forrestfield

What Are the Risks of Dental Implants?

Dental implant treatment is a minimally-invasive procedure, but it still comes with risks. It is important to be aware of the risk of complications before deciding whether this treatment is suitable for you.

If you’re contemplating dental implant surgery, consider the following risks before proceeding:

  • Infection
    One of the most common implant complications is infection from bacteria entering the implant site. This leads to pain, swelling, tissue damage, and implant failure.

  • Nerve Damage
    If an implant is placed too close to  nerves in your jawbone, nerve damage may ensue. This causes numbness or tingling sensations in your gums, lips, or chin.

  • Rejection
    Implant rejection happens when the body sees the foreign object as a threat and rejects it. The most notable symptom of implant rejection is a loose implant.

  • Bone Loss
    If the implant is not cleaned well, plaque will accumulate around it and cause a gum disease called peri-implantitis. This can lead to bone loss which will eventually cause the implant to move as it loses bone support.

  • Bone Graft Failure
    Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that augments insufficient jawbone density. It is meant to increase the success of dental implants in patients that experienced bone loss. Unfortunately, bone grafting may also fail due to habits like smoking or chewing on hard foods during the healing period.

How Can I Minimise Infection After Dental Implant Surgery?

  • Good oral hygiene:
    Keeping the implants clean extends their lifespan. Practising good oral hygiene is key to preventing problems such as gum disease, which is an infection of the gum tissue.

  • Avoid smoking:
    Smoking constricts blood vessels, resulting in reduced blood flow. This slows down healing and increases the risk of infection.

  • Avoid foods and beverages high in sugar:
    Bacteria thrive on sugars, and if they build up around the implant, it could lead to gum disease.

  • Take your medications as prescribed:
    Antibiotics should be taken for the full course of dosage, even if you feel better after a few days.

Low-grade infection is to be expected after any oral surgery procedure, and most of the time, if the patient is healthy, the body can fight it off. The infection will resolve without any medication. However, further treatment is necessary if the bacteria that invaded the surgical site is too strong or if the body is too weak.

What Causes Dental Implants to Fail?

  • Poor Oral Hygiene: 
    One of the most common causes of dental implant failure is poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly, plaque and tartar accumulate around the implant and spread to the adjacent teeth. 

  • Trauma to the mouth:
    Another common cause of dental implant failure is trauma to the mouth. If you suffer a blow to the mouth, it can damage the implant and cause it to fail. Additionally, if you grind your teeth, you may put too much pressure on the implant, causing it to fail.

  • Lack of Bone Density:
    Another common cause of dental implant failure is lack of bone density. When you lose a tooth, the bone around it begins to deteriorate. If there isn’t enough bone to support the implant, it will be unable to fuse with the bone and eventually fail.

  • Allergies:
    In rare cases, people may be allergic to the materials used in dental implants, which causes them to fail.

Should I Have My Tooth Implant Replaced When It Fails?

Studies show that restoring failed implants is becoming increasingly common. However, before deciding on replacing the device, it’s essential to consider its risks. There are significant distinctions between restoring an implanted tooth vs. replacing it altogether. We suggest consulting your dentist to determine which dental procedure is right for you.

How Can I Minimise the Other risks of Dental Implants?

  • Quit Smoking
    Smoking is a significant risk factor for dental implant failure. Studies show that smokers are up to five times more likely to experience implant failure than non-smokers. Smoking also leads to other complications, such as infection and bone loss.

    We highly suggest you quit smoking to reduce dental implant surgery complications and improve your overall health.

  • Improve Your Oral Hygiene
    Another way to reduce dental implant surgery complications is to improve oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing remove plaque and bacteria from your mouth, reducing the risk of infection and implant failure. It’s also essential to see your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups.

  • Stay Healthy
    Patients with medical health conditions have poorer healing. This can cause the failure of the implant to fuse with the bone, later leading to implant failure. These conditions include diabetes, autoimmune diseases and cancer.

  • Choose an Experienced Dentist
    When choosing a dentist for your implants, choose someone experienced and reputable. Ask about their experience with implant surgery and whether they have any specialized training. Choosing a dentist with high-quality materials and a success rate is also essential.

  • Set Realistic Expectations
    While implants provide many benefits, they are imperfect and can still fail. It is necessary to note that the surgery is invasive and can cause pain and swelling. Be sure to discuss all of the potential risks and benefits with your dentist before making a decision.

  • Follow Your Dentist’s Instructions
    After your implant surgery, it is essential to follow your dentist’s instructions. This includes care for the surgical site, eating a soft diet, and avoiding hard or crunchy foods. Additionally, you will need to brush and floss around the implant site and see your dentist regularly for checkups.

Is It Safe to Have Dental Implants?

Dental implants provide a safe, reliable solution for improving your smile. When performed by an experienced dentist in a sterile environment, this can be a secure and safe procedure.

If you’re considering dental implants, you’ll want to schedule an initial consultation with an experienced dentist. During this appointment, your dentist can evaluate your medical history and assess the longevity and efficacy of dental implants for your particular circumstances.

With proper planning and preparation, this procedure is one of the safest ways to improve the appearance of your teeth and mouth.

Final Thoughts

Dental implants can provide a long-term solution for many people who are missing teeth or have decaying teeth. They offer multiple benefits, including a natural look and feel, improved speech, and improved oral health. While dental implants are considered safe, there are some associated risks that patients should be aware of before undergoing surgery. These risks include infection, nerve damage, rejection, bone loss, and bone graft failure. To minimise the risk of infection after implant surgery, it is important to practise good oral hygiene and avoid smoking. Limiting sugary foods and drinks and taking medications as prescribed also helps.

For more information on dental implant surgery, schedule an appointment with Dentalcare of Forrestfield. Our dental team would be happy to answer any questions you may have about the benefits of tooth implants and other potential complications of this procedure. This way, we will be able to help you decide if this treatment is right for you.

Frequently Asked questions

  • Brush and floss your teeth as usual – Good dental hygiene habits are important for the success of dental implants. Brushing twice daily and flossing once a day is recommended to avoid bad breath and keep your mouth clean and healthy.

  • Follow post-op instructions – Your dentist will provide specific instructions on caring for your implants after placement, so follow them closely. This includes taking medications, eating soft foods, avoiding certain activities, and more.

  • Attend regular dental checkups – It’s important to attend all appointments with your dentist to monitor the healing process of the implant sites and ensure everything is going well.

  • Eat a balanced diet – Eating a balanced diet is essential for overall health. Ensure you consume enough vitamins and minerals for optimal tissue regeneration around the implant site.

  • Take over-the-counter pain medication as needed – Talk to your dentist about pain management options. Ibuprofen is also a good option for over-the-counter pain relief. 
  • Avoid hard or crunchy foods – Hard or crunchy foods should be avoided when you have dental implants since they can damage or cause discomfort when chewing on them if they’re not fully healed yet.

  • Don’t chew on ice cubes – You could potentially crack your implants if you chew on ice. Instead of chewing on ice to relieve swelling in your jaw, you can press an ice pack against your cheek.

  • Don’t smoke – Smoking interferes with the healing processes of tissues around the implant site, increasing the risk of failure. Smoking hinders the successful integration of the implant into the jawbone, significantly decreasing its effectiveness.

  • Don’t forget regular checkups – Regular checkups should still be performed even after getting dental implants as part of preventive care regimens that aim at keeping them in good shape.

  • Don’t neglect any post-procedure symptoms – Post-procedure symptoms like pain, swelling, discharge, etc., must be taken seriously by consulting your dentist immediately. These may indicate an underlying problem that needs further attention and treatment before leading to long-term complications of dental implant surgery.

After the healing period, which usually passes in just two days or so, you’ll be able to bite into all your favourite dishes again! When treatment is done and the restorations are secure – that means no more restrictions on what foods you enjoy.

A single implant can replace one missing tooth. If more than one tooth is missing, an implant-supported bridge or an implant denture can be used instead of traditional dental bridges or dentures. In this case, the number of implants depends on the specific situation.

Dental implant rejection is a rare occurrence, but it can happen in some cases. Dental implants are constructed from biocompatible materials such as titanium, and the surgical technique used to insert the implant further decreases the chances of the body rejecting it. This is why dentists typically advise patients to attend regular follow-up appointments after they have undergone implant surgery, so they can be sure that everything is working as expected. Fortunately, dental implant rejection is reversible if caught early enough; a new implant can be placed in the place of the old one, and measures can be taken to ensure that the same thing does not occur again.