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Issues of Fusing Dental Implants

Why Dental Implants Don't Fuse to the Bone

For dental implants to be successful, the post that's implanted in the jaw during dental surgery needs to be fused with the bone. This takes several months and requires a commitment of time on the part of both the dentist and the patient. Posts used for dental implants are often made out of titanium, a metal that has a good track record of fusing with bone. Why would if fail to do so?

Even before the dental surgery occurs, the dentist takes a medical history of the patient to see whether or not he or she is a good candidate for an implant. As a result of this, the risk of an implant failing is quite low. Yet it still occurs. Here are some reasons:

Not Enough Bone Mass

Sometimes there's not enough bone material in the jaw to allow the post to successfully fuse with the bone. The bone can be destroyed or weakened by illness, including advanced periodontal disease. Diabetics, smokers and heavy drinkers also are at risk for not having enough bone mass to support an implant. However, if a patient is adamant about getting an implant, he or she might have to undergo a bone graft.

The Jaw Isn't Mature

Implants can also fail to fuse because the jaw actually hasn't finished growing. This is why dentists usually don't give implants to children or adolescents. On the other hand, a very elderly person might not be a good candidate for an implant because his or her bone has thinned due to osteoporosis or other conditions.

The Jawbone Isn't Wide Enough

A narrow jawbone might also make a person a bad candidate for an implant.

The Implant Is Inferior

The dentist must use the highest quality post that the patient can afford. A poor quality post can actually break off or become loose in the jaw and lead to serious problems.

Infection

Because an implant requires surgery, there is always a risk of infection, and infection is a reason that the implant won't fuse to the bone. This is one of the reasons that it's very important for a patient to take care of his or her oral health during the time the post is supposed to fuse. The patient should keep his or her appointments with the dentist or consult the dentist if he or she starts to experience signs of infection.

The Implant Was Improperly Placed

This mishap would be the responsibility of the dentist. The post shouldn't be too close to the patient's other teeth and shouldn't damage blood vessels or nerves. The implant might have also been inserted at an angle when it should be centered in the bone. This is why it's crucial for the dentist to take X-rays of the area and to study them before inserting the implant.

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