Can Dental Implants Cause Cancer?
This blog post will address the topic, “can dental implants cause cancer” and cover topics like what does research say, what a dental implant is, types of dental implant, comparison between same-day dental implants and traditional implants, advantages and disadvantages of dental implants, if you are an eligible candidate for safe placement of dental implants, whom to visit to get a dental implant, care after implants, the common reasons for failure of a dental implant, discomforts associated with a failed dental implant and the techniques and tools for dental implant removal.
Can Dental Implants Cause Cancer?
No, dental implants have not been found to cause cancer in the extensive research done.
Studies have found cases of dental implants with cancer but no direct association has been established. Studies have reported dental implants to be safe and the success rate of the dental implants to be over 95%.
However, thorough examination of the oral cavity with the patient’s medical and dental history is must to identify any risk factors that may lead to cancer in patients of dental implant.
What Does Research Say?
Study published in the Journal of Oral Implantology concluded that dental implants are safe and no direct association exists between squamous cell carcinoma and dental implants.
However, according to the study, the history of smoking and all contributing factors of cancer must be carefully evaluated in the patient before dental implant placement.
What Is A Dental Implant?
Dental implant is a metal, screwlike structure, inserted into your jawbone beneath the gums as a replacement for your missing tooth roots.
Artificial tooth is fixed over the placed implant with the help of a device called an abutment.
What Are The Types Of Dental Implants?
Broadly, American Dental Association classifies dental implants as:
Endosteal implants are placed into the jawbone directly followed by a post and an artificial tooth.
Time is given for the jawbones to heal after endosteal implant placement and once the jawbones heal, post and an artificial tooth is attached.
These can be done individually or in groups over an implant supported bridge or implant-retained denture.
It is different from the endosteal implant as no direct placement of the implant is done into the jawbone.
Instead, a metal frame is fixed onto the jawbone (not into the jawbone) just below the gum tissue.
The metal frame gets fixed on the jawbone after healing of the gum tissue and then posts are attached to the frame followed by an artificial tooth (or teeth).
Same Day Implants Vs. Traditional Implants
Traditional implants take almost 6-10 months for the complete process including all the necessary extractions and healing breaks after extraction and implant insertion.
Same-day implants as the name suggests are quick and need 3 visits including consultation, dental implant surgery and follow-up.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Dental Implants?
Advantages Of Dental Implants
The concept of dental implants is reaching its popularity and the entire process of dental implant placement is getting more and more efficient.
Some advantages of the dental implants are:
- Natural Appearance similar to that of the teeth.
- Fluent speech without slurring as they are fused with the jawbone and are permanent.
- Eating becomes easy and pain free.
- Good oral health.
- Beautiful smile that improves self-esteem and boosts confidence.
- Longer life span of more than 10 years.
Disadvantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants like any other implant is not perfect and has some limitations:
- May fail due to peri-implantitis or fracture
- Bone loss
- Post-surgery discomfort
- Impacts the immune system
- May cause nerve damage if lies close to the nerve
Am I Eligible For An Implant?
Though dental implant surgery is a safe process and has a success rate of over 95%, not everyone qualifies to receive a dental implant.
You are eligible for a dental implant or same-day dental implant if you fulfill certain conditions:
- Presence of one or more missing teeth
- Presence of fully grown and matured jaw bone
- Presence of sufficient jawbone around the missing teeth
- Good oral health condition with no periodontal disease
- Not suffering from any bone disorders
- Not suffering from any clotting disorder or bleeding disorder
- Not a smoker
- Have a denture which you want to get rid of
- Want a permanent and healthy replacement for your missing tooth or teeth
- Have knowledge of dental implant failures and other consequences but still want it
Who Is Not Considered As A Good Candidate For Dental Implant?
People suffering from any of the following conditions are not considered as a good candidate:
- Periodontal Disease — increases the risk of peri-implantitis and thereby the risk of dental implant failure.
- Bruxism — clenching and grinding of the teeth may cause dental implant fracture or may result in poor bone-implant contact.
- Smoker — Smoking increases the risk of periodontal disease which may further result in peri-implantitis.
- Bleeding Disorders — People suffering from bleeding disorders in which hemostasis is difficult to achieve are not considered a good candidate for implant surgery.
- Diabetes Mellitus — Diabetic patients are not considered a good candidate for dental implant placement as the healing process may take a longer time. However, patients taking medications and having controlled sugar levels can undergo elective dental implant surgery.
- Medications — People on medications like bisphosphonates and angiogenesis inhibitors are not a good candidate for dental implant placement.
- Radiation Therapy — People under radiation therapy are not an ideal candidate for dental implant placement.
Whom To Visit To Get A Dental Implant?
Visit a periodontist or an oral surgeon for getting an implant. However, a general dentist can also hold experience in doing implants.
The first preference should always be an implantologist followed by a periodontist, or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, or a general dentist having plenty of experience in conducting successful implant surgeries.
Care After Implants
Care after any type of implant is a must and does not vary much if you have undergone same-day dental implant surgery or a traditional implant surgery.
Discomforts associated with dental implant surgery can be:
- Facial swelling
- Pain and swelling on the gums
- Pain in and around implant site
It is recommended to take all prescribed medications as per your doctor’s instructions.
Avoid eating any hard and sticky food. Pain and swelling are temporary and must subside within weeks of taking medications.
It is advised to consult your implantologist immediately if you feel any breathing discomfort or if the pain is persistent even after medications.
Why Do Dental Implants Fail?
Dental implants fail due to multiple reasons:
Biological Reasons For Dental Implant Failure
Failure To Attain Osseointegration
Osseointegration is the connection that develops between bone and the implant at both structural and functional levels.
In a few cases, this implant-bone connection is not established leading to implant failure.
Peri-Implantitis is a scientific term for inflammation around the implant resulting in marginal bone loss and mucosal inflammation.
A 2015 meta-analysis study reported that peri-implantitis is common in almost 22% of implants.
Another study published in International Journal of Periodontics & Restorative Dentistry found peri-implantitis to be the main reason for failure of implants.
Mechanical Reasons For Dental Implant Failure
Fracture Of Implant
Implant fracture is a common mechanical cause of dental implant failure. It results mainly due to:
- Grinding Teeth or Bruxism
- Increased Biting Force
- Mechanical Trauma
- Extreme bone loss
Iatrogenic Reasons For Dental Implant Failure
Some implants fail due to poor surgical execution that includes:
- Incorrect location
- Incorrect or improper inclination
- Poor oral hygiene leading to contamination of site
- Overheating of bone due to inappropriate instrumentation
Functional Reasons For Dental Implant Failure
Improper implant design and functional overload are functional reasons for dental implant failure.
Discomforts Associated With A Failed Dental Implant
The discomforts associated with a failed dental implant are:
- Movable Implants
- Bone loss (visible on X-ray)
Inadequate or failed osseointegration is the most common reason for dental implant failure.
Appropriate Techniques & Tools For Dental Implant Removal
Removal of dental implants requires precision and selection of proper removal instruments. The dental implant removal process should be fast, inexpensive and minimally traumatic.
Appropriate tool selection is crucial for removal of dental implants. Following are mentioned some of the tools for dental implant removal:
Tooth Extraction Tools
Tools used for tooth extraction such as elevators, levers and forceps can be used to remove failed dental implants, mainly due to inadequate bone-implant contact resulting in mobile implants.
Trephine burs having cylindrical blades are commonly used for dental implant removal.
CAD/CAM guided technique has been recently proved to be more accurate and minimally invasive.
Piezo surgery is a precise and less traumatic surgical removal of an implant without interfering with the nerves and blood vessels lying around the implants.
Laser surgery is the less invasive surgical removal of dental implants without any thermal damage.
However, laser surgery is reported by many studies to be more time consuming as compared to other procedures of dental implant removal.
Counter-torque ratchet technique
The Counter-torque ratchet technique is the least traumatic dental implant removal technique that keeps the surrounding bone least damaged.
Electrosurgery is a dental implant removal process associated with osteonecrosis as a complication.
This blog post addressed the topic, “can dental implants cause cancer”. We understood what research says, what a dental implant is, types of dental implant, comparison between same-day dental implants and traditional implants, advantages and disadvantages of dental implants, if you are an eligible candidate for safe placement of dental implants and whom to visit to get a dental implant. care after implants, the common reasons for failure of a dental implant, discomforts associated with a failed dental implant and the techniques and tools for dental implant removal.
The article outlined care that must be taken after implants, the common reasons for failure of a dental implant, discomforts associated with a failed dental implant and the techniques and tools for dental implant removal.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs): Can Dental Implants Cause Cancer
Can dental implants cause health problems?
Yes, dental implants if not properly placed or if failed due to any reason, may cause complications like persistent pain, facial swelling, significant bone loss, nerve irritation and infections.
How do I know if my dental implant is infected?
If you experience persistent pain, swollen gums, swelling on the face, halitosis (bad breath) and receding gums along with loose and mobile implant, then your dental implant might be infected.
Can your mouth reject an implant?
No, your mouth cannot reject an implant but it can fail due to multiple reasons.
For a dental implant to be successful, the contact between your implant and bone must be firm and post-implant care must be proper.
Can Dental Implants Be Removed?
Yes, dental implants can be removed. There are multiple reasons for removal of a dental implant, the most common reason being dental implant failure.
Mobile dental implants or dental implants with less osseointegration can be removed using instruments like levers, elevators and forceps, which are used for tooth-extraction as well.
Is It Painful To Remove A Dental Implant?
Removal of dental implant may not be painful but you might experience temporary pain after the removal of dental implant.
The severity of pain might be similar to the pain you experience after implant insertion. The pain must subside after proper medications or within a week.
Other FAQs about Dental Implants that you may be interested in.
Bhatavadekar, N. B. (2012). Squamous cell carcinoma in association with dental implants: an assessment of previously hypothesized carcinogenic mechanisms and a case report. Journal of Oral Implantology, 38(6), 792-798.
Can Dental Implants Make You Sick? (2019)
What Are Dental Implants?
What to know about dental implants. (2020)
Gómez-de Diego, Rafael et al. “Indications and contraindications of dental implants in medically compromised patients: update.” Medicina oral, patologia oral y cirugia bucal vol. 19,5 e483-9. 1 Sep. 2014, doi:10.4317/medoral.19565
Dental implant surgery. Mayo Clinic
Disadvantages of Dental Implants. (2020)
Removal of failed dental implants revisited: Questions and answers