Dental implants are the gold standard for replacing missing teeth. There are a few reasons for this, but one of the most significant is that dental implants have a high long-term success rate. In fact, with the proper brushing and flossing, many patients find that their dental implants last a lifetime.
With that said, patients often wonder if there is any risk of their body rejecting the implant altogether, similar to when the body rejects an organ transplant. Because implants are made of metal and do not contain any living cells or genetically coded materials, they cannot be rejected as foreign bodies, which sometimes happens during organ transplants.
What Can Cause an Implant Rejection?
With that said, there can be circumstances in which the body effectively “rejects” the implant. Though rare, these situations are worth knowing about.
An Allergy to Titanium
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots, which are made of titanium. One reason for using titanium is that it is one of the most biocompatible metals, meaning there is a very low risk of your body experiencing any kind of allergic reaction to it.
Though highly uncommon, it can happen. Fewer than one percent of all people who undergo a dental implant procedure report having any kind of titanium allergy. Zirconia implants are an alternative to conventional implants and offer an alternative.
You may also develop a bacterial infection in your jawbone or the tooth socket. In this case, your immune system may accidentally attack the dental implant, and this immune response may ultimately lead to implant rejection.
When Does Implant Rejection Occur?
Early implant rejection usually happens within the first three or four months, before the implant has a chance to fully heal or to fuse with the surrounding bone tissue.
There is also the possibility of a late implant rejection, which typically happens more than a year after the initial implant placement. Late implant rejection, or failure, is usually caused by dental neglect or a traumatic face injury.
Learn More About the Long-Term Success Rate of Dental Implants
Dental implant rejection is not common, and for most patients, dental implants provide lifelong results.
To find out more about the benefits of getting dental implants, reach out to The OMS Center of South Louisiana for a consultation. Call us at (985) 687-1616.