Potential Complications of Dental Implants

Dental implants have a consistently high long-term success rate of almost 95 to 98 percent over 15 years. For some individuals, implants can even last a lifetime. However, all surgeries carry some degree of risk and dental implants are no exception.

During your initial consultation at our Victoria, TX, practice, Dr. Rick Heard can explain potential dental implant complications, such as infection and implant failure. At Gulf Coast Periodontics, however, we use the highest quality implants and advanced technology to minimize your chance of complication and provide the most stable, secure results possible.

Short-Term Side Effects

The most common side effects associated with dental implants are minor and temporary. Many patients experience some discomfort, swelling, and bruising during recovery. Typically, these symptoms last less than two weeks. In general, patients are able to manage discomfort using pain medication and limit swelling and bruising with cold and hot packs. You may also notice changes to your speech and how your bite feels as you adjust to your new restoration.

Dental implant post in a fully healed jaw
Our team works with patients to educate them about the potential risks of dental implants and lay the foundations for longterm success. 

Other Health Risks

More serious problems with dental implants are rare. When they do occur, they are usually minor and easily treated. Possible risks include:

  • Infection at surgical site
  • Injury or damage to surrounding teeth or blood vessels
  • Nerve damage causing pain, numbness, or tingling
  • Sinus issues for implants in the upper jaw

Most of these issue can be avoided by choosing an experienced implant surgeon. Dr. Heard is a skilled periodontist who has trained extensively in implant dentistry. Before implant placement, he takes three dimensional scans of the jaw to use as a guide during the procedure, allowing him to precisely place your implants without affecting surrounding structures.

Implant Failure

In a small percentage of cases, patients experience implant failure after placement and require a replacement. Smoking, uncontrolled diabetes, and other issues can increase this risk. Dr. Heard may recommend removing an implant if:

  • There is persistent infection at the surgical site
  • The post becomes loose
  • The implant punctures the sinuses
  • Serious nerve impingement occurs

However, these issues are very rare. If implant failure does occur, Dr. Heard can replace the post. During this process, the original implant is removed, as well as any infected tissue. After a short healing period and treatment for the underlying cause of the implant failure, Dr. Heard can place a new post so you can enjoy a fully restored smile.

How to Minimize Your Risks

Disclosing your medical history and any medications you are taking can help Dr. Heard identify potential risk factors which may impact the success of your procedure. Using this information, he can tailor a treatment plan to your specific needs and reduce the risk of complications. Precise planning is crucial to the success of your dental implants.

The best way to ensure the success of your implants is to receive treatment from a dentist with the training and experience to perform the surgery safely.

Following all recovery instructions from our office can also minimize the chance of side effects. Before your procedure, we will provide you with detailed post-operative instructions and information about medications. Consistent maintenance and regular visits to your dentist's office are essential to reducing your risk of implant failure, as well.

Choose a Skilled Implant Surgeon

The best way to ensure the success of your implants is to receive treatment from a dentist with the training and experience to perform the surgery safely. Dr. Heard is a diplomate for the American Board of Periodontology and has undergone extensive training in implant treatment. Find out more about the benefits and risks of dental implants by contacting our office online or calling (361) 573-1014 today.

Dr. Rick Heard

Dr. Rick Heard

Dr. Heard is board-certified in periodontology and dental implant surgery with over 15 years of experience in the field. He is also a member of multiple prestigious organizations, including:

  • The American Academy of Periodontology
  • The American Dental Association
  • The McGuire Institute

Find out if you are a candidate for dental implants by requesting an appointment online or calling (361) 573-1014 today.

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After multiple years of avoiding a dental issue, I visited Dr. Heard. In a short period of time, I went from what I thought was a hopeless dental problem, to a complete solution. I now have a full understanding of my procedure, the timeline, and even exact costs.

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