Whether you need to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants and All on 4 implants provide you with a beautiful and natural smile while improving your quality of life.
The procedure can also have a truly remarkable track record of success when done properly. However, certain factors can cause dental implant failure. Although rare, when it does happen it can cause serious discomfort and even lead to more complications.
What Are the Symptoms of Dental Implant Failure?
There are three common signs that an implant has failed:
severe pain or discomfort
swelling or inflammation of the gums
implant loosens or moves in the mouth
A dental implant can fail for a variety of reasons, including the patient’s general health factors, the standard of post-procedure care, and the skill and competence of the dentist.
Below are 7 of the main reasons why a dental implant fails:
Misalignment of the Implant
One of the challenging aspects of implant dentistry is positioning the implant so that it is completely surrounded by bone. Sometimes the ideal position in the bone may not be the ideal position for the implant. Thus, the implant and bone can become misaligned. When the implant is not aligned with the bone, the crowns may look unnatural, the gums may recede, and the dark gray metal of the implant may be visible around the gums.
Correcting misplaced implants can be difficult. Removal can damage the bone and adjacent teeth. That’s why it’s so important to get it right the first time. It is important to choose a dentist with the knowledge and experience to achieve the best results.
The impressions are molded by the dentist and sent to a laboratory for crowns to be made. If the dimensions are not exact, the replacement teeth may not fit properly. Just a subtle mismatch can cause a gap between the crown and the gingiva enough to compromise the appearance and function of the teeth. This can allow bacteria to enter the gums and eventually lead to infection. The infection is treatable but may require replacement of the implant. Essentially doubling the cost of treatment.
Another factor is the cement that attaches the new dental crown to the implant post and can also cause infection if it seeps into the gums. Therefore, the skill of the implant dentist is very important. They must be comfortable to perform the procedure accurately under high magnification, reducing the chance of backlash or errors.
Peri-Implantitis and Other Infections
Peri-implantitis is one of the main causes of dental implant failure. There is some debate as to whether it should be classified as a disease or as a complication from the insertion of a foreign body into the oral cavity. Regardless, sometimes shortly after the procedure is complete, an inflammatory response can occur due to bacterial buildup in the mouth.
Peri-implantitis can damage both the gingiva and bone surrounding the implant, potentially leading to subsequent bone loss or implant failure. While the condition can be treated, the implant will often need to be replaced. Those most susceptible to bacterial infection or peri-implantitis are patients with diabetes, smokers, and those with poor oral hygiene.
Osseointegration is a term used to describe the evolution of the structural connection between the bone and the newly placed titanium implant. It normally takes a few weeks to a few months for this process to happen.
Sometimes the implant does not fully fuse with the jawbone. This may leave the implant loose or even fall out. The main reason for this is the insufficient bone in which the implant can be placed.
When it comes to implant dentistry, bone density and the overall health of your bone are an important consideration. Evaluating the health of your bone is something your implant dentist will do before the procedure. If there is insufficient bone, a bone graft or sinus lift procedure is an option to recreate the right conditions for the implants to be placed.
While nerve damage is rare, it can happen when the implant is fixed too close to the nerves surrounding the mouth. The incidence of this is more common in inexperienced dental implant dentists or when the dentist does not use treatment planning as part of their practice. A treatment plan helps the dentist identify all factors that may affect the implant procedure, such as determining the ideal placement of the implant in relation to critical structures and nerves in the mouth.
Nerve damage is normally indicated when there is numbness, persistent pain, or a tingling sensation around the gums, lips, cheek, or tongue.
The Implant’s Own Fault
Despite being made of a strong metal, it is possible for the metal implant post to come loose. When the implant post becomes loose, movement may cause the implant to break.
Thanks to advances in implant technology, this happens less frequently today, but failure can still happen. Especially low-cost suppliers and overseas laboratories can use low-quality materials, leading to size and fit-related complications that compromise the stability of the implant.
Body Rejection and Allergic Reaction
The Turkish Dental Association states that there is a possibility of side effects when something foreign is put into your body. Dental implants and other materials used for the implant procedure may cause a local reaction. Your dentist should check if you have any allergies to make sure the best materials are used for your treatment.
What Should You Do If You Suspect a Failed Dental Implant?
First, if you are experiencing an infection such as peri-implantitis after your dental implant procedure, it is possible to treat the infection without removing the implant. Inflammation is usually treated with a thorough cleansing. The earlier the problem is detected, the higher the chance of curing the problem.
If there is damage to the bone around the implant, this can also be treated. However, treatment involves removing the bone and then performing a bone graft so that the implant can be placed back correctly.
Depending on the degree of damage, the crown and implant may need to be removed. Fixing failed implants can be difficult. Removal can damage the bone and adjacent teeth. Getting it right the first time is crucial, and so is choosing a specialist dentist with all the skills and experience to achieve the best results.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
Wherever you choose to have your dental implant procedure, it is important that you are familiar with the risks and that the dentist you choose has the skills and experience to minimize the risks while making a valuable investment in your dental health.