Dental implants are generally known for their high success rates and predictability. However, like any dental treatment, they aren’t immune to failure. While a failed dental implant is an uncommon occurrence, it’s important to stay informed about what to do if you encounter this issue.

There’s absolutely no reason to worry. Knowing how to spot the signs that your dental implant needs a closer look can significantly improve your management of the situation.

Let’s discuss the causes of implant failure and the signs to look out for below.

What Causes a Failed Dental Implant?

A successful dental implant relies on a variety of factors, and there are some habits and health conditions that could heighten the chances of an implant failing. Factors like gum disease and teeth grinding (bruxism) have the potential to interfere with the healing of an implant.

Additionally, medical conditions that weaken bone strength and density, such as osteoporosis, can make it difficult for the implant screw to anchor into the jawbone securely.

If you’re undergoing cancer treatment, especially radiation therapy, it’s important to understand that this may impact the bone’s healing capabilities, potentially complicating the implant process.

Certain medications could also pose a risk to the success of your dental implant. Research has shown that compounds found in antidepressants, which alter bone metabolism rates, may disrupt the process of osseointegration, which is critical for the implant to bond with the bone properly.

Smoking has also been identified as a factor that might increase the likelihood of dental implant failure.

This risk can vary depending on the location of the implant within the mouth. This is why discussing all potential risk factors with your dental professional before proceeding with the implant process is important.

Symptoms and Signs of a Failed Implant

Knowing the signs of a failed implant can help you act quickly to address the issue. Here are some symptoms to watch for:

  • Pain and discomfort: It’s normal to experience some pain after the implant procedure, but if the pain persists or worsens over time, it could indicate a problem with the implant.
  • Swelling and inflammation: Some swelling after surgery is expected, but prolonged or excessive swelling around the implant site may signal an infection or other issues.
  • Loosening of the implant: If the implant feels loose or moves, it’s a clear sign that it has not integrated properly with the jawbone and may fail.
  • Gum recession and bleeding: Receding gums or bleeding around the implant site can be symptoms of infection or rejection, requiring immediate attention.

Prompt recognition and treatment of these signs can significantly improve the chances of salvaging the implant and maintaining oral health.

Treatment Options for Failed Implants

Fortunately, a failed dental implant can be safely removed, and the situation can be easily mended. Depending on the cause of implant failure, early detection can help your oral surgeon replace it with a new implant

However, there may be some cases where bone loss is evident. While relatively rare, these cases call for a bone graft to prepare the site for a new implant. This process involves enhancing the bone area to ensure it can securely hold the replacement implant, and our skilled surgeons can perform this procedure for you with the utmost care for your well-being.

How to Prevent Dental Implant Failure

Preventing implant failure begins even before the procedure takes place. You need to maintain your implants by doing the following to minimize risks:

Pre-implant Evaluation and Planning

A thorough examination and planning phase helps ensure your jawbone is suitable for an implant. This might include scans to assess bone density and the overall health of your mouth.

Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene

Keeping your mouth clean cannot be overstated. Brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and using mouthwash can help prevent infections that might lead to implant failure.

Regular Dental Check-ups and Follow-ups

After getting an implant, regular visits to the dentist are crucial. These check-ups allow for early detection and management of any issues that might arise, keeping your implant secure and functional.

These preventive measures can significantly reduce the risk of dental implant failure and ensure a healthy, lasting smile.

regular dental check ups and follow ups

Take Charge of Your Dental Health With Hanna Dental

While dental implants are a highly successful solution for replacing missing teeth, it’s important to be aware of the rare instances when things don’t go as planned. Recognizing the signs of a failed implant, understanding the treatment options available, and taking preventive steps can all play a crucial role in ensuring the longevity and success of your dental implants.

If you notice any concerning symptoms or want to be proactive about your dental health, don’t hesitate to contact us. Taking action at the first sign of trouble can make a significant difference in the outcome. Remember, your dental health is an investment in your overall well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know if an implant is failing?

You might notice signs such as persistent pain or discomfort, swelling and inflammation around the implant site, the implant becoming loose, or gum recession and bleeding. These symptoms could indicate that the implant is not integrating with the jawbone as it should.

Can a failed tooth implant be fixed?

Yes, a failed tooth implant can often be fixed. Treatment options may include removing and replacing the failed implant with a new one, bone grafting if bone loss has occurred, and addressing any infections or underlying conditions that contributed to the failure.

What happens after an implant fails?

After an implant fails, the first step is usually to remove the implant under local anesthesia. If there’s significant bone loss, a bone graft may be necessary to rebuild the area before a new implant can be placed. The focus will also be on reducing any risk factors to prevent future failures.

How do I know if my body is rejecting an implant?

Signs that your body might reject an implant include ongoing pain or discomfort, swelling, and possibly fever, indicating an infection or inflammation. If the implant also becomes loose, these could be signs of rejection, and you should consult with your dentist immediately.

What does a failed implant feel like?

A failed implant often feels painful or uncomfortable, especially when chewing or applying pressure. It may also feel loose or unstable in the jaw. You might also experience swelling, tenderness, and bleeding around the implant site, indicating that it has not integrated with the bone.