How to Recognize (and Prevent) Dental Implant Failure

April 23, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — drearnest @ 8:26 pm
Older man holding his cheek and experiencing dental implant failure

Dental implants are largely reliable and, when placed by an expert, known for having a very high success rate. Between 95% and 98% of implant cases are successful, even after over a decade of use, assuming the person receiving it took the right steps perform proper oral care and avoid tobacco. However, this means that implant failure can still occur, even if it is rare. If you recently received a dental implant and are not sure if you are experiencing the early signs of dental implant failure, keep reading to learn the most important symptoms from an implant dentist!

What are the Signs of Implant Failure?

The most common sign that your implant may be failing is movement of the implant itself. This implies that the implant did not properly integrate with the existing bone tissue (or bone graft if you had one placed prior to placement). In more severe cases, the implant may feel wobbly and could even move when chewing or talking. If the implant is fully movable, it has likely failed entirely.

Other common symptoms of a failing dental implant include:

  • Chronic pain
  • Swelling
  • Infection (which can induce a fever)

If you have any concern over whether or not your dental implant is failing, it is crucial that you get in touch with the dentist that placed it as soon as you can.

How a Dentist Can Help Salvage Your Implant

Once you are able to visit a dentist, they will be able to complete an X-ray so they can examine the implant and bone tissue surrounding it. After examining the X-ray, they will be able to confirm your existing bone growth and pinpoint any significant bone loss around the metal portion of the implant.

In most cases, dental implant failure requires removal of the implant entirely. However, if there is no loss of bone, then a bone graft should not be necessary to have an additional implant placed. If bone loss has occurred, a bone graft will be attached and given time to heal before a new implant is inserted.

Preventive Tips to Prevent Dental Implant Failure

Staying proactive is crucial to ensuring the long-term success of your recently placed dental implant. Ahead of your surgery, the implant dentist should go over all risk factors associated with implant failure. It’s also important to tell the dentist about any and all medications you are taking ahead of placement as some can negatively impact the success of your healing and integration.

Additionally, the best day-to-day steps to take to reduce your risk for failure include:

  • Brush and floss daily
  • Use mouthwash regularly, especially if you have a prescription one from the dentist
  • Avoid tobacco products in all forms
  • Use a nightguard if you grind or clench your teeth
  • Avoid habits that can damage teeth (such as chewing on inedible objects or ice cubes)

With the right preventive care, you can ensure your future tooth replacement treatment is nothing short of a great success. If you want to learn more about replacing teeth via dental implants, get in touch with an implant dentist today!

About the Author

Dr. David Earnest has been helping patients repair and rebuild their smiles with dental implants. As a member of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and Academy of Osseointegration, he’s highly trained to place and restore dental implants no matter how many teeth you may be missing. To schedule an appointment and learn more about dental implants, you can contact him through his website.

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