Dental implants are a highly sought-after tooth replacement, as they’re considered the top-of-the-line tooth restoration in restorative dentistry. With a 95% success rate, you can not only replace missing teeth, but also prevent bone loss, preserve your facial structure, stop your teeth from shifting, and they can last for life!

However, do you know what conditions contribute to implant failure, what the signs are, and what to do if it does happen? If not, read on in this blog from Ghina Morad, DMD.

What Can Cause Implant Failure?

Implant failure is rare, occurring in only 5% of all dental implant cases. However, just because it’s rare, doesn’t mean it can’t happen, so it’s important to understand what causes implant failure. 

The number one cause is peri-implantitis, which is an infection caused by improper care of the implant site and poor oral hygiene. Insufficient jawbone support is another large cause of implant failure. 

The success of your implant procedure depends on the success of osseointegration (the fusion of the jawbone with the implant) and sometimes this doesn’t occur properly because there isn’t enough healthy jawbone. Other causes include smoking, certain medical conditions, having a metal allergy, or improper placement of the implants.

Recognize the Signs of Implant Failure

If your implant is failing, you should know, because it will suddenly feel very loose. A dental implant should never be loose or move at all. Some signs that may appear before the implant becomes loose which can indicate peri-implants include excessive or prolonged bleeding, swelling, pain, and fever. 

These are not normal symptoms following implant placement and you should contact us right away if you experience any of these symptoms. Keep in mind that sometimes implants can feel like they’re shifting after they have been implanted even though they aren’t and this is because your mouth is getting used to pressure in places it isn’t used to.

How to Prevent Implant Failure

Smoking is a big contributor to implant failure so you should abstain from smoking completely while you are healing from implant surgery. It is recommended that you avoid smoking in general as well. 

Practice good oral hygiene by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth. Implants are not high maintenance, you just need to clean them like you would your normal teeth. 

You can also use an antibacterial mouthwash to remove bacteria from your mouth between brushings. Follow implant aftercare instructions such as sticking to soft foods and avoiding suction for the first 24 hours. Inform your dentist of any medical conditions or allergies that you have. 

Treatment for Implant Failure Is Crucial

If your implant has failed, you will need to come into the dental office right away so we can remove it and treat any present infections. Before a new implant can be placed, we need to ensure the infection is fully gone and your gums have healed. 

This may take a few months before you can receive a new implant. Removing the old implant can be performed similarly to a tooth extraction. You will receive a local anesthetic so you don’t feel any pain and we can offer you additional sedation if you wish.

If you suspect your implant has failed, contact us at Ghina Morad, DMD today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ghina Morad. It’s crucial to treat implant failure as soon as possible because otherwise, the infection can spread, you can suffer from bone loss, and you can experience extreme pain and inflammation.