7 Factors that Cause Dental Implant Failure
When it comes to finding the best restorative solution for missing or lost single teeth, multiple teeth, or an entire teeth set, dental implant failure is a crucial consideration. In today’s time, dental implants are the safest, most secure tooth replacement, closely resembling the entire natural tooth structure in terms of appearance, feel, and function. If they are properly cared for and maintained, just like natural teeth through good oral hygiene practices, they are presumed to last for a lifetime.
Dental implants are the titanium or zirconium posts that form the stable base for the fake replacement tooth/teeth: a crown, bridge, or denture. The implant posts are installed into the jawbone to act the same as natural tooth roots. These posts are further connected on the top with an abutment that connects the post to the replacement tooth.
Getting dental implants involves multiple surgical procedures. When they are performed properly by a restorative dentist for a suitable candidate, the candidate can expect an excellent success rate of having dental implants (about 95-98%). However, some patients can have failed dental implants and experience severe discomfort and further complications. Though it happens rarely, some factors cause dental implant failure.
This article talks about the 7 major factors that impact the success of dental implants and highlights the specific measures that can help increase longevity of the dental implants. But, before diving straight into the main topic, it’s important to be aware of how to recognize a dental implant failure.
Signs and Symptoms of a Failed Dental Implant
The three common indications of having a failed dental implant include:
- Swelling or inflammation of the gums
- Severe pain or discomfort
- Loosening of the implant and its easy shifting within the mouth.
7 Factors That Cause Dental Implant Failure
A dental implant process can fail at some point due to a variety of reasons including the skill and competence of the implant dentist, the overall health status of the patient, and the level of post-procedure care followed by the patient.
Below are the 7 Main Causative Factors of Dental Implant Failure:
1. Improper taking of teeth impressions- Implant dentists have to take precise teeth impressions on the mold under high magnification for making customized replacement teeth in the dental laboratory. If the impressions are improper, the ill-fitting replacement teeth can create a gap between the gum and the prosthetics that further impacts the function and appearance of the teeth as well as welcome bacteria to cause infection, thereby resulting in a failed dental implant.
2. Peri-implantitis or other oral infections- Peri-implantitis is one of the major reasons for dental implant failure. This dental condition can cause damage to both the gums and jawbone that surrounds the implant, potentially resulting in a jawbone loss or an implant failure. Smokers, diabetics, and people having poor oral hygiene are at high risk of experiencing peri-implantitis and implant failure.
3. Misalignment of the dental implants- The placement of dental implants should be such that they are surrounded by the jawbone. When the implant and bone are not aligned with one another, the replacement tooth can look unnatural, the gums can start receding, and the implant post gets noticed around the gum. That’s why, it is important to choose a knowledgeable and experienced implant dentist to properly position the implant post the very first time.
4. A failed osseointegration- Osseointegration refers to the merging of the jawbone with the implant post during the recovery period following the implant surgery. This process takes 3-4 months to happen. In a few cases, the implant may not fully fuse with the jawbone and stay loose or even fall out because of the presence of insufficient bone to secure the implant. This can be avoided by first evaluating the bone density and health before the surgery and carrying out bone grafting or sinus lift procedures to prepare the site for successful implant placement.
5. Nerve damage during implant placement- This happens very rarely. It occurs when an inexperienced dentist or a dentist who does not use a proper treatment plan fixes the implant post too close to the nerves surrounding the mouth of the patient. The signs of having a damaged nerve include numbness, persistent pain, or a tingling sensation around the gums, cheeks, lips, or tongue.
6. Loose or fractured implant- This was one of the reasons in earlier times particularly with low-cost implant providers or those dental laboratories who use inferior implant materials. But now thanks to the advancements made in implant dentistry, there is no compromise on stability of the dental implants today.
7. A localized allergic reaction- Dental implants are made of biocompatible titanium. However, they along with other materials used during the dental implant process may cause a foreign body rejection, if the patient is allergic to the used materials. The implant failure caused by an allergic response can be avoided by the implant dentist by checking for any allergies prior to the implant surgery.
What to do if Suspecting a Tooth Implant Failure?
If you have signs of peri-implantitis after a dental implant surgery, the infection can be treated with professional dental cleaning. In case of damage to bone around the implant, the bone can be removed and then a bone grafting can be done so that the implant can properly be secured in place. The replacement tooth or implant may need to be removed and replaced if the damage is severe and this is the only way to rectify a failed implant. But the removal process can be risky so getting a dental implant right in the first place is crucial. That’s possible by choosing the right dentist who has all the knowledge, skills, and experience in implant dentistry.
How Can We Help?
If seeking dental implants, it is important to know about their risks and choose an implant dentist who has the proper skills and experience to ensure safe and effective treatment. At First Point Dental Clinic, we have top-notch implant specialists in Chicago with decades of experience in implant dentistry. Our implant specialists have transformed the smiles of many people and can even help you achieve the same. Contact us today and request an appointment with us to receive the best dental implant services at an affordable price.