Dental implants have incredibly high success rates. Studies place their success between 90-95% for all patients. However, some patients may experience some type of change or failure of their implant in their lifetime. If this happens, it is essential to see your dentist as soon as possible to understand what happened to your implant. For many patients, replacement is not only possible but advisable.
Dental implant failure is rare. However, the most common cause for dental implant failure is the inability for the implant to integrate with the bone. This means that the implant either wasn’t properly recognized by the body or that it wasn’t appropriately installed into the bone. Either option means that your implant can become loose or lost if it fails.
When the bone’s ability to hold the implant in place fails, the implant can become very loose and mobile but still held in the gum tissue, or it may come out completely. If the implant falls out, keep the entire piece and see our dentist as soon as you can.
Dental implants can also fail if the underlying bone is too thin or delicate to support the implant post. However, this failure is very rare, because dentists typically identify this issue before, they attempt to place an implant. If a patient doesn’t have the appropriate underlying bone structure, there are other options a dentist can use to help place an implant or replace the missing tooth or teeth.
After the implant is placed, redness and swelling at the implant site can often signal a condition called peri-implantitis. This condition will lead to the failure of the implant unless it is treated. As the underlying bone becomes infected, it can cause the implant to fail. Periimplantitis is often associated with patients who smoke, have diabetes, or practice poor oral hygiene.
If any of these conditions are the reason for your implant failure, the implant should be removed. Replacement of the implant depends largely upon each individual case. However, if the implant is not replaced, bone resorption can continue to occur near the underlying bone. This means that making the decision about replacement earlier leaves you with more options. If you wait until too much bone has been resorbed, you may no longer be a candidate for dental implants.
In some cases, the surgically implanted portion of the implant is intact and in good condition, but the upper portion of the implant can crack or break. These issues can arise from physical trauma like a vehicle or sports accident, using the wrong dental equipment, or manufacturer defects.
If this is your specific case, a new implant is simply created to match the old one and replaced. No additional surgeries are required, and replacement is almost guaranteed.
Of course, it’s better if your implant doesn’t fail and you never have to worry about replacement. Patients who have the best success with their dental implants often follow the general guidance of their dentist. This means brushing twice daily for two minutes with a non-abrasive toothpaste, flossing daily, and getting regular checkups with your dentist. Additionally, smokers are at an increased risk for implant failure. Smoking also attributes to several other oral concerns. If you are considering quitting smoking, our dentist can help you identify options to ensure your success.
If you have an implant that you think is failing, it is essential to visit PGA Dentistry as soon as possible. Schedule an appointment with our dentist today at 561-627-8666 to address your concerns and identify solutions.