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Complications with Dental Implants

Has anybody encountered any complications with their dental implants? Whether it was within the first year, or even after 20 years.

Data suggests that within 5 years, up to 30% of dental implants will require repair or replacement. Unfortunately, less than 0.5% of all medical device adverse events are reported to the TGA.

Without this reporting, Manufacturers/Laboratories and the TGA don’t know which parts they sell are possibly unsafe, meaning these parts are still being sold and placed in patients.

Reporting to the TGA can be done by Patients, but currently is mainly done by Dentists, Laboratories or Manufacturers (self-reporting), which is why the numbers are possibly so low.

The Dental Implant Registry (DIR) is a Not-For-Profit company in Australia that helps Patients gain access to their own implant information, and can also assist in the reporting of adverse events/complications.

If you have had a complication with your dental implant, we’d love to hear from you about what happened.

Thanks!

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I have 2 dental implants…, the full bottom set of teeth and a replacment front bridge on the top. Unfortunately the bottom was a horrendous job with me complaining for months about the implant being way to small to the point that it was impeding my tongue and speech. The dentist rebuilt it twice before I made him take it out completely and rebuild it from scratch…, It was a bloody nightmare and STILL is not 100% correct, but at least I can live with it. So when my bridge needed replacing I went to a different dentist…, chalk and cheese. The top was a wonderful job…, so I asked the dentist if he could rebuild my bottom set and that’s when I discovered that there is no standard with implants…, WT…, really. Each dentist can use a different implant system and the second dentist does not even own the tools to undo the bolts, let alone do a repair. WHY IS THIS NOT STANDARD ACROSS THE INDUSTRY. It’s like an electrician deciding to install his own type of wall plug for your electrical devices. The first dentist has now retired…, so I am stuffed if anything happens as the only ONE dentist that uses this system is nearly 150kms away. I am happy with the implants in general (I have got use to the horrible bottom one) but do your research about the type of implant they use and how many others in the area use the same system.

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Hello, and thank you very much for your response!

You are unfortunately correct. Every dentist is able to use a different implant system/manufacturer. And, almost 50% of the time the abutment (crown/bridge) componentry that is matched to the implant is swapped out for a Non-Genuine (copy) component. There is also very limited (if any) long-term data to show how these copy parts will perform over time with the implants they are matched to.

To add to that, each manufacturer of dental implants have their own drivers (screw drivers that are used to remove/install the screws that hold the components together). If the wrong driver is used, the screw and implant can be damaged. There are over 400 manufacturers worldwide, and thousands of different products. Without transparency, best of luck to the treating dentist to be able to determine what exact component was installed, and then which driver to use.

If you do know what components you received from your original dentist, you may not have to visit the one so far away. Your local treating dentist may be able to contact the correct manufacturer to obtain the required driver for treatment (if you should ever need it). On that, it is advised to have your implants looked over yearly for a proper clean for best possible long-term success.

The DIR have set up a Patient Advocacy Group and are having a Zoom meeting on the 25th March 2021 if you would like to participate and give some feedback on your experiences and how it can be improved for all patients. Please feel free to contact our team at admin@dentalimplantregistry.org.au and we can send you some more details.

Kind regards,

The DIR Team

That is certainly a warning to heed! I had no idea there are different types of implants. My dentist recommended I get an implant for just one tooth, but I balked at the cost, at least for this year as a more critically sited tooth requires a crown first. I don’t know if I will ever face up to the process though.

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Appreciate the feedback!

It’s true, and the amount of implants hitting the market is only growing. Dental implants are still one of the best investments to make (and all going well will last upward of 20+ years). Understandably the cost is quite high (and can vary from practice to practice) which will always play a part in receiving treatment. The recommendation would be to discuss with your dentist what you are going to receive (for both components).

We have a short video that highlights the current problems people can face: https://youtu.be/V28-88bHDDM

Also, if you do go down the route of getting a dental implant, the TGA have put together a list of 5 questions to ask your dentist prior to treatment: https://www.tga.gov.au/community-qa/five-questions-ask-your-health-professional-you-get-medical-implant

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our team at admin@dentalimplantregistry.org.au

Kind regards,

The DIR Team

I’m considering getting an implant, I’ve been thinking about it for 2 years, can’t quite face up to it for now, thanks for the discussion however. It’s good to know there is a registry and questions to ask, it might make a difference to my decision.

I’m also interested to know where you got the statistic re adverse device events reported to the TGA? Can you supply a reference please?
Mal

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Hi Mal,

Thank you for your comment, and please don’t hesitate to contact our team if you have any questions prior, during or post surgery (if you choose to go ahead with getting a dental implant).

We have also created a webpage that you can have a read of for further info: (https://dentalimplantregistries.lpages.co/considerations-before-having-a-dental-implant/)

In regards to your query, please find below a link to an ABC article that references a report by the Department of Health that “estimated only 0.5 per cent of medical device “adverse events” were reported to the TGA.”

(https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-21/tga-rules-to-provide-more-oversight-medical-devices-delayed/12373290)

Kind regards,
The DIR Team

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