Dental Implant Failure: What You Need to Know
by Dr. Scott Bolding
If you’re missing teeth, you have a few replacement options. Many people find that dental implants are a great way to get their smiles back. And the truth is, dental implants are the only permanent way to replace your teeth. Dental implants look and function exactly like your natural teeth.
One common concern people have about dental implants is how successful they are. Patients may wonder what to do if their dental implants fail. Fortunately, dental implants rarely fail. They have a success rate of 90%. But occasionally, dental implants do fail for a variety of reasons.
In the article below, we will discuss:
Symptoms of Dental Implant Failure
On the rare chance that dental implant failure occurs, you will notice several warning signs. These include:
- Pain or discomfort in implant site
- Your gums will be swollen
- The implant will start to come loose
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Why Does Dental Implant Failure Occur?
Even though dental implant failure is rare, it can happen for a number of reasons. They often fail because of poor oral hygiene after the implant is placed or osseointegration failure.
Poor Oral Hygiene and Dental Implant Failure
Poor oral hygiene can lead to infections, which lead to dental implant failure. The most common infection that affects dental implants is peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis happens when bacteria gets into the implant site. It causes damage to the gums and bone around the implant site. If not treated right away the implant will come loose and fall out.
This is why it’s so important to take good care of your mouth before and after your implants are placed. Make sure you brush your teeth and floss every day. Keep up on your dental appointments as well. Good oral hygiene is one of the keys to a successful dental implant
The other common cause of dental implant failure is when osseointegration doesn’t take place. Osseointegration is when your jaw bone fuses to the implant. This natural process is what makes the implant secure in your mouth. And it’s one of the most critical parts of the dental implant process.
Failed osseointegration can happen for a few reasons. It usually happens to patients who have experienced some sort of dental trauma after the implants have been placed. Sometimes there’s not enough bone mass for osseointegration to occur. Other times the implant wasn’t placed properly. Infections can also get into the jaw bone, which can affect osseointegration.
What to Do When Your Dental Implant Fails?
The most important thing you can do when dental implants fail is to call your oral surgeon immediately. They will be able to evaluate your situation and come up with a plan for how to treat it.
If the infection is causing the implant to fail, we will treat the infection. Sometimes we will be able to do this without removing the implant. However, that depends on the severity of the infection. Once the infection is cleared you will need to stay on top of your oral hygiene.
In the case of osseointegration failure, the implant will need to be removed. We will likely need to do a bone graft in order to strengthen your jaw bone.
How to Prevent Dental Implant Failure
The success of dental implants depends on good oral hygiene and the use of advanced technology.
Good oral hygiene ensures dental implants don’t fail. Brushing and flossing twice a day helps keep out bacteria that cause infections.
The success of dental implants is also due to advancements in dental technology. Technology like digital smile design allows us to plan out exactly where each implant will go. Then, with the help of dental robotics, we can execute that plan. This ensures that each implant is placed in the right spot, which encourages successful osseointegration. When evaluating oral surgeons for dental implants, it’s important you find one that utilizes this technology.