Are Dental Implants Safe? – What You Need To Know

Jan 10, 2023
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It's not unusual to feel a little nervous before undergoing dental implant surgery and to worry whether dental implants are safe. We explain all you need to know to put your mind at rest.

As mentioned by the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, two in three Americans are estimated to be missing one or more teeth, primarily because of the rise in periodontal disease as the population grows older. However, although dental implants have been utilized for several decades in dentistry, people considering the treatment still question whether dental implants are safe.

As with any surgery, the dental implant procedure risks side effects and complications. Thankfully, these instances are relatively rare, with tooth implants having a 95% success rate. Moreover, with thorough screening and assessment, the Chesterfield Dentistry team ensures patients are suitable candidates for implant surgery. Provided you follow the post-op instructions to the letter, there is every chance of a successful outcome. Why not schedule a consultation with Dr Melba Akinwande to see if you qualify?

So, are dental implants safe?

The answer is a resounding yes! Dental implants are manufactured from titanium and sometimes zirconia – both biocompatible materials readily accepted by the human body and able to fuse with the jawbone.

Any risks associated with dental implants are usually related to dental implant surgery itself. These include:

  • Sinus problems – for a patient receiving an implant in the upper jaw, there is a chance that the implant could penetrate the sinus cavity. However, a sinus lift procedure can be performed before surgery if x-rays show space is limited.
  • Nerve damage - incorrect implant placement can cause nerve damage in the form of tingling and numbness, which can be permanent. This is why it's vital to choose an experienced implant dentist.
  • Infection - is largely down to the patient since it's their responsibility to be vigilant with hygiene and oral care.

We utilize CB scans and perform meticulous planning at Chesterfield Dentistry to ensure accurate implant placement to avoid nearby nerves and sinus cavities. Patients are given a personalized treatment plan incorporating various implant systems that best meet their needs.

The importance of working with an experienced dentist

It's vital to schedule a consultation with an experienced implant dentist or oral surgeon to determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants before going ahead with dental implant surgery.

Not everyone is suited to implants, and certain people are more at risk of implant failure.

Factors affecting suitability for dental implants

Metal allergies

Dental implants are commonly made from titanium which incorporates a small percentage of other metal alloys such as zinc and nickel. This won't be a problem for most people, but in rare cases, people may have an allergy to metal alloys. This being the case, a dentist may recommend ceramic zirconia implants that do not contain any metal.


While most people know that smoking cigarettes may affect their general health, various studies have concluded that nicotine affects the immune system and slows down the healing process, which can jeopardize dental implants. That's not to say that smokers can't have implants, but they will have to quit the habit before and during the procedure. It's best to stop altogether, as studies also reveal that smokers are at a higher risk of implant failure in the future than non-smokers.

Other considerations

A pre-requisite of dental implant surgery is good oral and general health. As such, there are instances where a dentist will rule out dental implants for immediate use. These include:

  • Insufficient bone to support the implant
  • The presence of gum disease
  • Pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, a weakened immune system

While having these conditions doesn't necessarily mean a person can never have dental implants, the dentist must first address these matters.

Not enough bone

If a person has suffered considerable bone loss, a dentist may suggest a bone graft to increase the width and depth of bone to enable implant placement. Since this is a surgical process, it will add to the cost and duration of the overall implant procedure.

Periodontal disease

Gum disease around the implant (peri-implantitis) is the number one cause of implant failure, so the dentist must treat the disease to restore a healthy mouth before surging ahead with dental implant surgery.

Chronic diseases

In these cases, the dentist will liaise with the patient's doctor to determine whether a dental implant is suitable given their medical condition.

Dental implants are safe

Hopefully, the above has put your mind at rest that dental implants are safe for most people.

At Chesterfield Dentistry, Dr. Akinwande focuses on her patient's individual needs and circumstances before recommending any treatments. Should you be suited to dental implants, she will happily answer all your questions and concerns and explain every stage of the implant procedure so you know just what to expect during treatment.

Benefits of dental implants

Dental implants have many benefits, including:

Look, feel and act like natural teeth

Because dental implants fuse with the jawbone to become a permanent fixture in the mouth, they feel and act like natural teeth. Furthermore, because the false teeth are fabricated from porcelain, which has similar light-reflecting properties to tooth enamel, they also look incredibly realistic.


Because dental implants are secured into the jaw, they do not move or slide like dentures and also prevent you from slurring your words.

Eat what you like

Another benefit of dental implants is they withstand the natural biting and chewing forces of natural teeth, meaning there are no food restrictions. You can happily bite a crunchy apple or chew a succulent steak.

Are you missing teeth?

Whether you're missing one tooth, several teeth, or all of your teeth, there's a dental implant solution for you. Why not schedule a consultation with Chesterfield Dentistry to see how we can help restore your smile and confidence? Call today at 314-936-3621 or book online.


 Photo attribution: Nakaridore on Freepik