Complications with dental implants are rare. Once the implants have embedded themselves properly, it is our experience that they never come out. Research has shown that periimplantitis (inflammation around the implant with resulting bone loss and ultimately, loss of the implant) is not a serious risk with the implants we use, and may not occur at all anymore.
One or more implants may be lost during the growing-in phase. Fortunately, this is rare (5% of implants in the upper jaw, about 3% for the lower jaw). Since more than enough implants are placed to make a bridge possible (we aim at 4-6 implants in the upper and 6 implants in the lower jaw), one or two implants not growing in properly generally isn't a problem. If it is, new implants can always be placed. If the patient doesn't give up, we always succeed in creating a new bridge.
Smoking is a serious risk factor. Smoking decreases blood flow in the wound area, which disrupts wound healing. After implant placement, this can mean loss of implants. Because of this, we strongly advise patients not to smoke in the three weeks before and the three weeks after the operation, as we cannot be held responsible for the consequences.
Not a complication, but a side-effect of implants is that patients have a hard time judging how hard they bite down. This can lead to synthetic resin teeth coming loose. These can be fixed in place again, but some patients develop such strong chewing forces that it can be necessary to move to a ceramic bridge. This has some very real financial consequences; ceramic bridges are expensive.
After implantation the patient's face may exhibit some swelling. Most patients will want to avoid normal social traffic during a couple of days following the operation.
Other complications, such as dull sensation elsewhere in the face or mouth and wound healing problems are of a transitory nature.
Finally, there are the (very rare) complications associated with any surgical procedures conducted under general anaesthesia.