Implant Treatment Complications

Michael Tischler, DDS


This month in Implants Today, we focus on complications related to dental implant treatment. Whenever a complex task is being performed, complications are often inevitable. The task of replacing a tooth or teeth as an implant dentist is a formidable task, as there are many variables involved for success.

The mechanical challenges that we face are often compounded by the multiple biological factors presented by a patient. These biological factors include genetics; various medications; the patient’s bite relationship, occlusion, and related functional habits; overall health and healing capacity; personal lifestyle such as smoking or alcohol consumption; and more.

Biomechanical advances that are being made in the industry are addressing the many biological factors with which our patients present. These developments include implant thread design changes, implant surface changes, implant prosthetic materials, and more. Technological advances are also helping mitigate our patients’ biological challenges through improved diagnostic capabilities; not only by way of CBCT hardware and software improvements, but also due to improved diagnostics in the medical field in general.

As an implant dentist, it is my opinion that our attitude should not be if complications are going to happen, but instead how will we deal with complications and learn from them when they occur. I believe that this needs to be a core philosophy for the implant dentist to be truly successful. As a science, this attitude of learning from mistakes is the key to success. Once adapted, implant complications become various challenging situations from which to learn.

This month, we have 2 great articles showing how complications and complicated situations are dealt with successfully. Dr. Barry McArdle shows how missing laterals and impacted canines can be handled from both an aesthetic and functional standpoint. And Dr. Charles Schlesinger shares a case report involving a difficult sinus graft and simultaneous graft. These articles give us different perspectives on implant complications.

If you have any questions or comments about this topic, or any other subject presented in Implants Today, feel free to contact Dr. Tischler at

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