Can Dental Implants Cause Depression? – Ask a Dentist in Spring, Texas - Vita Dental Spring
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Can Dental Implants Cause Depression? – Ask a Dentist in Spring, Texas

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Can Dental Implants Cause Depression? – Ask a Dentist in Spring, Texas

Dental implants are a great way to get your lost tooth back. The thought of having a tooth that feels, functions, and looks just like your natural tooth is quite appealing since everyone wants to have that perfect smile. However, over the years there have been cases of patients who have undergone this restorative procedure going into depression after getting the implant. This has questions of whether dental implants lead to depression. This post by Vita Dental highlights how dental implants and depression are related.

The dental implant procedure is categorized as major surgery and just like any other major surgery, the procedure ought to be handled by a specialist to ensure that the implant is fitted properly without causing any harm to the patient. Often when the procedure is performed by a less competent person, it could result in permanent nerve damage.

Research findings have revealed that incidences of inferior alveolar nerve injury in dental implant surgery have been on the rise over the recent years. This injury is usually characterized by severe pain in the face coupled with an altered sensation. This usually affects the patient’s everyday activities like eating, speaking, brushing and even shaving. The injury usually affects the quality of life of the patient leading to depression and can lead to the development of other health problems.

It is estimated that about 1 percent of all the patients who undergo the dental implant procedure get nerve damage. Given the fact that the number of people resorting to dental implants due to its appeal is constantly rising, the number of nerve damage cases is also on the rise. Additionally, the fact the most patients are only blinded by the desire to get a “real” tooth and do not understand the risks that may come with the procedure does not help the situation.

One study of several dental implant patients with nerve damage cases revealed that there was inadequate pre-operative consent, planning, and the follow-up after the implant surgery was not adequate. Some of the main problems related to the surgery include severe bleeding and pain when placing the implant, reduced pleasure when kissing, difficulty in speaking and difficulties in brushing teeth, eating and drinking due to the pain. All these reduce the overall quality of the patients’ life and a number of the subjects experienced psychological problems like depression and suicidal thoughts.

How to Prevent Depression that Arises from Getting Dental Implants

The state of depression is one that no one should experience. In as much as undergoing the dental implant procedure exposes one to the risk of experiences depression, there are actions that can be taken to minimize the risk. Some of the recommendations include:

    The dental implant procedure should be conducted by a dental implant specialist and not just anyone who knows how to perform the procedure. As stated earlier, dental implant procedures are considered to be major surgeries and they ought to be handled with extreme care. An underqualified person performing the procedure increases the risk of making a mistake during the procedure that could result in irreversible damage.

    Prior to the performing the procedure, the clinicians must make a point of ensuring that the patient is well-informed on the procedure and the possible risks that come with it. Consent has to be granted first before commencing. Any health specialist must act in the interest of their patients and keep them informed and seeking their consent before undertaking this procedure that has a considerable level of risk is a step towards that.

    There should be sufficient planning before undertaking the procedure. To avoid chances of failure and further complications after the procedure, there should be adequate pre-operative radiographic planning. This will help guide the clinician’s actions as they perform the procedure. People have different dental orientation and bone structure and, therefore, each patient’s case has to be treated uniquely.

    Professionals have suggested that clinicians use shorter implants to reduce the risk of injuring a nerve. If the root is too long, that would need a deeper hole to be drilled into the jawbone which increases chances of injuring a nerve.

    In the event that the patient’s inferior alveolar nerve has been injured, the specialist should refer the patient to a nerve injury specialist for treatment immediately. The sooner the condition is taken care of, the less the risk of depression and other resulting consequences for the patient.

    Postoperative follow-up is crucial in ensuring that the implant does not fail and to detect any damage that may have occurred. The follow-up has to be improved to help detect nerve damage that leads to depression. The patient and the dental specialist have to be in communication every day for the first few weeks after the procedure.

    In case nerve damage has been detected, the implant should be removed within 30 hours for chances of chronic nerve pain to be minimized.

Chances of experiencing depression can be greatly reduced by following these basic rules.

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