Dental implants are thought of one of the most successful dental treatments available – so its surprising when they fail and even more surprising if they are placed in the USA (New York), where we assume the standard of dental care is high!
Only recently, a lady came to see us at The Kensington Clinic, and she had gone to the USA, had 5 dental implants placed, and one was feeling loose. In addition, she wanted a few stitches removed.
When I had a look, as described, I saw the 5 implants, and specifically, they were metal free Zirconium implants. It was the patients choice to have these metal free implants, as she would not accept metal implants.
Zirconia implants have been used in the past, and can be successful, however, there is a higher risk that they fracture, and for this reason, most people will only use titanium based implants.
When I looked in the mouth, I was amazed at what I saw, the stitch work was messy, and in some areas, the gum was left open to heal, this must have been very painful for the patient! In the mean time, the patient was advised to wear her removable bridge in the position, over the implants, and this had caused a lot of food debris to collect around the implants, the gums were red, and there was clearly some infection!
This case goes to show that even in countries where you would think dental work is carried out to a high standard, there are still some really unskilled people working!
It also shows how important it is to have a local dentist when choosing complex treatment, this can avoid problems like this, as regular reviews should be scheduled, to ensure the healing is going as planned.
In the case of the lady above, the poor surgical technique, choice of implant used, and amount of bacteria and food in the area had caused one of the 5 implants to become so loose, that she was able to remove it, while laying down to sleep!