While most dental implant procedures are successful, and failure rates are low, they do occur. If your implant fails, there is no need to be concerned; our Victoria dentists can assist you in recognizing warning signs and determining what to do next.
How does my dental implant work?
Most conventional dental implants have three components:
- A titanium part that bonds with the bone during a process called osseointegration
- An attachment (abutment)
- A crown fixed to the attachment, which aligns with your existing teeth
Issues with any of these components can become a problem if one of them breaks or becomes loose.
The process of osseointegration ensures that dental implants function properly. The body will then produce living bone cells to surround the implant and anchor it to your jawbone. Healthy bone develops around the implant.
However, osseointegration does not always occur as expected. This can occasionally result in complications after implantation.
What are signs that my dental implant may be failing?
Pain, swelling, and infection may occur around the implant site if osseointegration has not occurred or has not progressed properly, or if the bone surrounding the implant has not developed properly. However, this is not always the case.
An implant may wobble or move slightly when a patient chews or speaks (your dentist may notice this movement first).
Dental implants should not move and should remain firmly in place. If your dentist notices movement in your implant, he or she may advise you to get an X-ray to monitor your bone growth. This will almost certainly allow us to determine whether there has been significant bone loss around the metal component of the implant.
What is the risk of my dental implant failing?
While the vast majority of dental implant procedures are successful, some patients are at a higher risk of implant failure. If you have any of these risk factors, your dentist may advise you to consider another tooth replacement option.
- Ongoing cancer treatment
- Some medications
- Conditions such as gum disease or bruxism (can damage a healing implant)
- Diseases such as osteoporosis, which can impact bone density and strength
What should I do if I notice an issue with my dental implant?
Make an appointment with your dentist if you notice a problem with your dental implant. While you are under local anesthesia, your dentist will be able to extract a failed implant. If the bone surrounding the implant being removed is in good condition, there is no need for a bone graft.
If your dentist detects bone loss, he or she may advise you to have a bone graft before replacing the failed implant. Before a new implant can be placed, the bone graft must heal. During this time, your dentist will educate you on how to reduce your risk of failures, such as deferring other dental treatments, quitting smoking, or taking other measures based on your health status and history.
How can I reduce the risk of complications with my dental implant?
Before your implant is placed, you will be asked about potential risks. Always inform your dentist if your health or medical history changes, as these can affect osseointegration and healing.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is also important for avoiding dental implant complications. Continue brushing twice daily and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash while your new tooth adjusts.