What Causes Dental Implant Failure: Symptoms and Prevention

What Causes Dental Implant Failure: Symptoms and Prevention

Apr 18, 2023

Dental implants are the highest-quality, most comfortable, safest, and most realistic tooth replacement procedure. Compared to alternative treatments, dental implants can last a lifetime and have an excellent success rate of about 90-95%. However, while rare, dental implant failure is possible. Keep reading to learn more about dental implant failure, including its causes, symptoms, and prevention.

Causes of dental implant failure

A dental implant is placed into the jawbone through surgery. The bone heals around the implant and fuses completely in about 3 – 6 months. This process is known as osseointegration.

A dental implant may fail due to several reasons, including:

  • Insufficient bone density

Enough bone density is essential for the bone to fuse with the implant in the osseointegration process. An insufficient jawbone can cause the implant to loosen or dislodge, leading to failure. Your dentist will examine your bone before the surgery to ensure it can sufficiently hold an implant. If you don’t have enough jawbone, the dentist can recommend bone grafting to rebuild and repair your jawbone.

  • Implant misalignment

One of the most challenging parts of implant surgery is ensuring the implant is in an optimal position. Sometimes the implant and bone can become misaligned, causing dental implant complications.

  • Peri-implantitis infection

Peri-implantitis is a common season for dental implant failure. Peri-implantitis is the infection or inflammation of the soft tissues and bone surrounding a dental implant. The infection damages the gums and bone around the implant, causing bone loss, receding gums, implant failure, and much more. In most cases, the infection is caused by oral bacteria and plaque. People who smoke, have poor dental hygiene and have diabetes are at a greater risk of Peri-implantitis.

  • Nerve damage

An implant can sometimes be too close to the mouth’s nerves, resulting in damage or pain. However, this is rare and likely to happen with inexperienced dentists.

  • Poor oral hygiene

You must be willing to practice excellent oral hygiene when getting an implant. Inadequate brushing and flossing can encourage a buildup of bacterial plaque around the implant, resulting in infections, gum swellings, and even implant failure. Follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions strictly after getting an implant to prevent complications.

  • Allergic reaction

The Australian Dental Association suggests side effects are possible whenever a foreign substance enters the body. Dental implants and other materials used can result in a localized response. To ensure you have the right materials for your treatment, answer your dentist’s questions truthfully regarding underlying health conditions or allergies.

Signs and symptoms of implant failure or complications

Contact your dentist or surgeon immediately if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty or pain when chewing
  • Gum recession (exposing the implant)
  • Gum tenderness, inflammation, or bleeding
  • Jaw swelling
  • Shifted, uncomfortable, or loose implant
  • Severe pain or discomfort
  • Pus or cyst around the implant

How to prevent implant failure

In most cases, you can avoid dental implant failure. Use the following tips to prevent or minimize your risk of implant failure:

  • Practice proper oral hygiene habits

Brushing twice daily for about two minutes a time and flossing at least once daily are excellent ways to limit your risk of infections. Poor oral hygiene encourages bacterial plaque and tartar buildup around the implant, increasing the risk of infection and implant failure. Since you may not be able to brush and floss around the implant immediately after the surgery, use a mouthwash or saltwater rinse to minimize the risk of infections.

  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol

Smoking is a key risk factor for dental implant failure. You must be willing to stop smoking several days before and after getting a dental implant. Smoking before or after dental implants has been linked to slow wound healing around the implant and a higher risk of peri-implantitis. Alcohol can also delay healing, increasing the risk of infections and implant failure.

  • Change your diet temporarily

Immediately after your surgery, the implants may be unstable. Your dentist will advise you to take a soft diet for the next few days to avoid disturbing the implant. Soft foods also allow the soft tissues around the implant to heal faster. It promotes faster and more comfortable healing. Hard, spicy, hot, and crunchy foods can irritate or disturb the tissues and implant, resulting in infections and implant failure.

  • Follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions

Immediately after implant surgery, your dentist or surgeon will give you several aftercare instructions. Follow these instructions strictly to ensure faster and more effective healing. Consult your dentist if you need help understanding instructions or if something feels wrong.

Are you interested in Dental Implants in Claremont, NH?

Do you need more information about dental implant failure and complications? Or are you interested in tooth implants near you? Contact Claremont Dental Group to book your appointment today.

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