Risks and Complicationsof Dental Implants

Dental Implants from Dr. Sigismondi, a Dentist with Over 40 Years of Experience in Implant Dentistry

Are you thinking about getting dental implants, but you’re worried about possible risks or complications? Dr. Sigismondi is an experienced dentist in Long Island with over 40 years of experience. With a specialization in dental implants, he has helped countless patients achieve a beautiful, restored smile.

While complications from dental implants are rare, our dental team will always educate you on those risks and possible complications. If you have any questions, contact our West Sayville dental office at 631-563-1583.

dental exam

The Success of Dental Implants

Dental implants are known as the number one tooth replacement option, and for good reason. They were designed to mimic the natural tooth structure, ensuring you’ll have a smile you can proudly show off. The success rate of dental implants is generally very high, with studies suggesting that up to 95% of implants are successful over the long term. However, there are still risks and potential complications that can happen like any surgical procedure.

Dental Implant Risks


After dental implant surgery, there’s a risk of infection. Infection at the implant site, in the gum tissue surrounding the implant, or in the bone that supports the implant can occur. Symptoms of infection may include pain, swelling, redness, and pus. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact our Sayville dentist immediately. Proper oral hygiene and following post-operative care instructions can help reduce this risk.

Dental Implant Failure

While rare, implant failure occurs when the implant doesn’t integrate properly with the surrounding bone or if the implant becomes loose over time. This can happen for various reasons, poor bone quality, inadequate healing, or excessive forces on the implant. In some cases, dental implant failure may require the implant to be removed and replaced.

Tissue or Nerve Damage

Tissue or nerve damage can occur during dental implant placement. Nerve damage can cause pain, discomfort, numbness, or tingling in the lips, tongue, or chin. Tissue damage can lead to inflammation, bleeding, or infection. These complications can happen for various reasons, such as improper placement of the implant, poor oral hygiene, or a lack of bone density. This risk is minimized by careful planning and execution of the implant procedure.

Sinus Problems (for Upper Jaw Implants)

Dental implants placed in the upper jaw, particularly in the back region, may protrude into the sinus cavity. This can lead to sinus issues, such as sinusitis or sinus infections.

Allergic Reactions

Some people may have an allergic reaction to the materials used in the dental implant, such as titanium or other metals. Symptoms may include itching, rashes, or even anaphylaxis in severe cases.

Bone Loss

In some cases, bone loss may occur around the implant site, which can compromise the stability of the implant. This is more common in individuals with pre-existing bone conditions or inadequate bone volume.

older woman at the dentist

Risk Factors

Several risk factors can increase the likelihood of experiencing dental implant problems, including:

  • Poor oral health: If you have existing dental problems, such as gum disease or tooth decay, you increase the risk of complications during and after dental implant surgery.
  • Insufficient bone density: Dental implants need a strong foundation. If there’s not enough bone in the jaw, it can increase the risk of early implant failure.
  • Smoking: Smoking can interfere with the healing process and increase the risk of implant failure.
  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, autoimmune disorders, or cancer, can increase the risk of complications during dental implant surgery.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as blood thinners, can increase the risk of bleeding during and after the procedure.
  • Age: Older adults may be at higher risk of complications from dental implant surgery due to age-related changes in bone density and healing.

Possible Dental Implant Complications

Complications that may occur after receiving your dental implants can include: 

  • Loosening or shifting of the implant: Over time, the implant may become loose or shift in the jaw, causing discomfort or negatively affecting the appearance of the implant.
  • Peri-implantitis: A form of periodontal disease that can occur around the implant site. This is typically caused by bacterial infection, and if left untreated, it can lead to bone loss and implant failure.
  • Implant fractures: Like natural teeth, dental implants can also fracture. It can happen due to trauma, overloading, or poor bone quality.
man with mouth pain

How to Reduce Your Risk of Complications

While there’s always some risk associated with any surgical procedure, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of experiencing complications from dental implant surgery:

  1. Choose a qualified and experienced dentist: Choose a dentist who has experience with implant dentistry and dental implant surgery. Also, check to see if they have a good track record of success with surgical procedures.
  2. Maintain good oral hygiene: Brush and floss your natural teeth and implants regularly and visit your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups.
  3. Follow post-surgery instructions: Our dentist will provide you with specific instructions on how to care for your implant after surgery. It’s important to follow these instructions carefully to ensure proper healing.
  4. Avoid smoking as it can interfere with the healing process and increase the risk of implant failure.

Frequently Asked Questions