Can A Dental Implant Affect The Rest Of Your Teeth?

Dentist Blog

As your dentist has probably already mentioned, dental implants are your best option when a missing permanent tooth needs to be replaced. The implant (a titanium alloy rod) functions in the same way as a tooth's natural root, with the prosthetic dental crown attached to it then replacing the missing tooth. You might begin to wonder—will an artificial tooth root implanted into your jaw somehow affect the roots of the neighboring teeth? In fact, can a dental implant have any effect on your natural teeth?

Extremely Rare

The placement of a dental implant is unlikely to be felt in your adjacent teeth. It might not seem like it at first, because the tissues around a newly installed dental implant will be irritated. There shouldn't be any lingering pain in the teeth on either side of the implant. In (extremely) rare cases, the depth of an implant may cause it to make unnatural contact with the roots of neighboring teeth. 

Unnatural Contact

This unnatural contact may occur when the configuration of these tooth roots is irregular, placing them too close to the implant. You should certainly report any suspicions to your dentist, but this complication is rare. If treatment is needed, the affected neighboring tooth might need a root canal, or an apicoectomy (the removal of a root's tips). It's something to be aware of, but not concerned about. As mentioned, it's rare.

Soft Tissues

The way in which a dental implant has the capacity to affect your teeth is via an infection. This is easily avoided by carefully following the aftercare instructions that your dentist will provide. The most common infection to affect the soft tissues around an implant is peri-implant mucositis. It actually presents itself in a similar manner to gum disease, with swollen and painful gums, and mild bleeding. See your dentist immediately. You will require debridement (the removal of diseased and dying tissues), often accompanied by antiseptic treatment. 

The Underlying Bone

Untreated peri-implant mucositis can become a more serious condition called peri-implantitis. This is when deterioration affects the underlying bone, potentially threatening its connection with the implant. Again, you will need debridement and antiseptic treatment. Some patients may also require surgery (guided bone regeneration) to stabilize the bone, which in turn stabilizes the implant. 

Your Gums and Teeth

Peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis are infections of the tissues surrounding and supporting an implant, but an uncontrolled bacterial infection in your gingival tissues can spread, placing surrounding gum tissue (and teeth) in jeopardy.

It's rare for a dental implant to have any tangible effect on a neighboring tooth, and if an implant is to affect your teeth and gums in any way, it's likely to be due to an infection. Be sure to follow your dentist's aftercare instructions so you can avoid these types of infections, and don't hesitate to seek treatment if you should be concerned.


26 October 2021