How to Avoid Common Problems with Dental Implants

January 21st, 2016

How to Avoid Common Problems with Dental ImplantsOver the years, dental implant surgery has become better and better. In fact, the procedure currently has about a 95% success rate, according to Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Still, like with any surgery, there are some problems that can occur. Thankfully, almost all of these problems are pretty rare and can be avoided with planning and proper care. Here are five of the most common problems with dental implants and how you can avoid them.

Dental Implants Don’t Properly Bond to Jawbone

One of the most common issues by far is that a dental implant won’t properly bond to the jawbone after surgery. Over the few months after your surgery, your dental implant should begin to securely connect with your jawbone. This process is technically known as osseointegration. If the implant falls out, is loose or too much bone loss occurs, then the implant has failed.
An implant may fail to bond to your jawbone for a variety of reasons, including the following. We will go into more details about the specific dental implant problems below throughout the rest of the article.

  • The implant may have been placed in the wrong position
  • You don’t have enough bone density or volume
  • You have damaged structures around your implant
  • Your implant gets cracked or fractured
  • You receive a sudden blow or injury to your face
  • You are a smoker


If you develop an infection caused by your dental implant, you may need to have it removed. Infections can be caused by bad hygiene during or after your implant surgery. This is why it’s very important to go to a practiced and proven periodontist or surgeon for your surgery. You also need to make sure to practice proper dental hygiene habits every day. Otherwise, you can easily develop an infection. If you have thin gums, are a smoker, or have diabetes, you may be at more risk of developing an infection.


One of the top causes of implant failure that we see at Water Tower Dental Care is smoking. Though many smokers have successful implant surgeries, failure rates are significantly higher in smokers than nonsmokers. Smoking increases your chances of getting an infection, improper bonding between your jawbone and implant, and developing peri-implantitis, a destructive disease the causes inflammation around your gums and the bone surrounding your dental implant. Learn more about how smoking negatively impacts dental implants here.

Nerve Damage

Nerve damage after dental implant surgery can be caused by an inexperienced periodontist or dentist. If an implant is placed too close to your nerve, it can cause permanent or temporary nerve damage. This can lead to numbing, tingling, or chronic pain in your tongue, lips, gums, cheek or chin.

Sinus and Bone Density Issues

Some patients may have problems with dental implants because of their sinuses or jawbone. If sinuses are present when you’re getting an implant in the upper row of your teeth, you may develop an infection. Thankfully, this is an easy issue to fix. A dentist should be able to recognize a sinus issue easily, and it can be fixed with surgery. You should always let your dentist know if you have sinus problems before dental implant surgery.
A strong jawbone with enough volume is key to a successful dental implant. If your jawbone doesn’t have enough mass, a sinus lift or bone graft may be performed to improve bone density, volume and space. You need enough bone to support and bond with an implant.

Damage to Surrounding Tissues

Since your implant will penetrate your gums, it’s inevitable that tissue will be damaged when you receive dental implants. However, this damage typically heals quickly and without complications. If you notice excessive bleeding and pain during your first few days after surgery, or if the bleeding and pain continues after a few days, you should let your dentist know. There may be a problem.

Dental Implant Crack

At Water Tower Dental Care, we work with a titanium post and realistic dental crown to make up your dental implant. These dental implants are incredibly strong. But even so, the implants can be cracked or fractured if you are hit hard in the face or if you grind your teeth a lot over a long period of time. This is very rare, but it’s possible. Once the implant breaks, a new one will need to be inserted.
Interested in receiving a dental implant? Contact Water Tower Dental Care today! We work with talented and skilled periodontists to ensure you’re getting the best service possible.

Think Teeth Are Bones? Think Again!

January 29th, 2015

Are Teeth Bones?Many people mistakenly think that their teeth are made up of the same materials as their bones. Well, think again! Teeth are actually very different than bones, made up of several layers of tissue and minerals that help protect the teeth and keep them lasting a long time without the worry of serious wear. So while your teeth may look like funny-shaped bones, they are quite different.

While maybe similar to a bone in the way they look and feel, teeth differ in many ways. First and foremost, the anatomy of the bone compared to teeth is very different. The tooth consists of a center, or the pulp, which includes connective tissues, blood vessels, and nerves. This is the area that will cause a toothache if exposed or if a cavity reaches down to it. Bones, on the other hand, have a center filled with marrow that produces white blood cells, cells that your teeth do not do produce. The blood flowing through bones is made possible by arteries that pass through the bone and to the marrow.
The next layer of the tooth is known as dentin. This is the substance that makes up the majority of the tooth, and protects your teeth from the wear and tear of daily use, including eating, drinking, and harsh temperature changes. Dentin is calcified tissue, and is what helps make your teeth the hardest part of the human body. The only thing harder than dentin is the outer layer of your tooth, which protects the dentin. It’s the shiny white enamel that makes your teeth look so clean and bright. Enamel coats the tooth above the gum, while below your gums, cementum coats the roots and keeps your teeth in place.
Your bones’ outer layers are made of periosteum, which is a dense membrane that coats the outer surface of most bones. Periosteum also contains osteoblasts, which are cells that manufacture new bone growth and repair broken bones. This is something your teeth cannot do, and is a big reason why it’s important to take such good care of your teeth.
Another major difference between bone and teeth is the bone’s flexibility. Most of the bone’s makeup is of the protein collagen. This is a living, growing tissue that allows a bone to withstand pressure, while the calcium that makes up the rest of the bone allows the body to withstand its own weight. Teeth don’t have this kind of flexibility.
While teeth and bones are very different, they do have one obvious similarity: only you are responsible for their well-being. Taking care of both means eating right and taking preventive measures to make sure your body is out of harm. For teeth, this includes brushing and flossing everyday along with regular visits to the dentist for cleanings.
If you have any more questions on the makeup of your teeth or are interested in seeing one of Chicago’s top rated dentists, do not hesitate to call Water Tower Dental at (312) 787-2131.