What are the risks associated with dental implants?

Our implant dentist looks at this popular procedure.

We sometimes notice a look of apprehension on a patient’s face when we explain the dental implant procedure; usually around the part where we mention how the implant is secured into the jawbone. However, we are delighted to be able to tell them that this actually causes little discomfort at all as the bone is not particularly sensitive to pain. The skill of our implant dentist coupled with the use of modern anaesthetics, means that there should be very little discomfort.

The other matter which patients do sometimes raise, is the safety of dental implants. This is understandable and as with all medical procedures, there is always a tiny chance that things can go wrong. However, it should be pointed out that dental implants have an extremely high success rate and for healthy patients who follow the dentist’s advice, fail very rarely indeed.

Smokers be aware

One of the major causes of dental implant failures in otherwise healthy patients is smoking. For this very reason, a reliable implant dentist will advise their patients to stop smoking for 3 or 4 months either side of the procedure. Failure to comply with this means that due to the dilation of the blood vessels which the nicotine causes, insufficient blood will be able to access the area where the implant has been placed and will hinder the healing process.

Smokers can also have a weaker immune system and therefore the risks of infections in the area are also increased and along with it, the higher risk of overall problems with the implant procedure.

Drinking too can have a similar effect and whilst the odd beer or glass of wine is relatively harmless, heavier drinking is discouraged for these same reasons.

Use a Reliable Implantologist

At Arthur House Dental Care we ensure that our implant dentists are fully trained to perform dental implant surgery. Some people however, are tempted by the special offers that they see in the newspapers for dental implants abroad. These can be significantly cheaper and may also have a hotel and flights thrown in as well.

Make no mistake though, although the cost of living in some of these countries is cheaper and may account for some of the lower costs, using these services is taking a big risk. As well as having no guarantee as to the quality of the dentist involved, some practices overseas may also use inferior implants that are not made purely from titanium which is the only metal that the jaw bone will bond with.  This means that even though the procedure may appear to be successful at first, the implant may not be held in place firmly and can cause pain or even complete failure of the implant.


There are other illnesses too which may affect dental implants such as diabetes, cancer and leukemia. This does not mean though that dental implants can’t be placed but sufferers should certainly consult a dentist to discuss their medical history beforehand.

Finally, it should be noted that whilst this article looks specifically at potential problems, dental implants are actually one of the most successful procedures that are available in the field of cosmetic/restorative dentistry and, provided that a patient is relatively healthy and follows advice correctly, there is no reason why a successful outcome should not be achieved, leaving the patient fully satisfied with their new tooth.