Reviewed by Dr. Mike Norouzinia, DDS, and Dr. Kerri Font, DDS

Dental implants are a popular and effective solution for missing teeth due to accidents, decay, or other dental issues. They serve as an excellent alternative to traditional dentures, providing a more permanent and comfortable solution for patients. However, like any surgical procedure, dental implants may sometimes fail.

In this blog, we will explore the causes of dental implant failure, prevention tips, and treatment options available to address this issue. If you are considering dental implants or have already had the procedure, this information can help you better understand the potential risks and ensure the longevity of your dental implants.

Table of Contents

Causes of Dental Implant Failure

While dental implants have an impressive success rate of over 95%, there are occasional cases where they might fail. Here are some of the main reasons for implant failure:

  • Poor oral hygiene: Insufficient cleaning and neglect in maintaining oral hygiene can lead to a buildup of bacteria, causing infection and ultimately, implant failure.
  • Faulty dental implants: Though rare, manufacturing defects or improper placement of the implant may cause complications, leading to failure. 
  • Smoking: The use of tobacco products slows the healing process and may hinder the implant’s ability to integrate with the jawbone, increasing the risk of failure. To learn more about how smoking affects dental implants, read How Smoking Affects Your Oral Health and the Success of Dental Implants.
  • Poor bone quality or quantity: Insufficient bone density or the presence of an infection in the bone can prevent proper fusion of the implant to the jawbone, resulting in failure.
  • Medical conditions: Several medical conditions, such as diabetes or autoimmune disorders, can affect the body’s capacity to heal, subsequently impeding dental implant success.

Key Takeaway

Dental implants have a very high success rate, but it’s important to be aware of the signs of dental implant failure. Signs include: pain, swelling, receding gums and loose implants.

How to Prevent Implant Failure

Following these tips can significantly reduce the risk of implant failure:

  1. Practice good oral hygiene: Brush and floss regularly to keep your mouth clean and reduce the risk of infection.
  2. Quit using tobacco products: Eliminating tobacco use can significantly enhance the chances of a successful dental implant. The failure rate of implants in smokers is four times greater than non-smokers.
  3. Eat a balanced diet: Consuming the right nutrients helps support overall dental health and promotes successful healing after implant surgery.
  4. Use a dental night guard: If you suffer from teeth grinding (bruxism), a dental night guard can help protect your dental implant and the surrounding teeth.
  5. Visit your dentist regularly: Routine dental checkups help detect any potential issues early on and ensure that the implant remains in good condition.

Treatment Options for Dental Implant Failure

In case of dental implant failure, there are several treatment options available, depending on the underlying cause:

  • Dental implant replacement: If the initial implant fails to integrate with the jawbone but the overall oral health is good, a new implant may be placed after a healing period.
  • Bone grafting: If inadequate bone density or quantity was the cause of implant failure, bone grafting can be performed to improve the underlying bone structure, followed by the placement of a new implant.
  • Implant removal: If the implant failure is due to infection, the implant may need to be removed, and the infection treated before reconsidering implant placement.
  • Soft tissue grafting: In cases where gums have receded, exposing the dental implant, soft tissue grafting may be necessary to restore healthy gum tissue around the implant.

Signs of Dental Implant Failure

The symptoms of dental implant failure may vary, depending on the underlying cause. However, some common signs to look out for include:

  • Pain: Any pain or discomfort around the implant site is a sign that something may be wrong and should not be ignored.
  • Swelling: Localized swelling near the implant could indicate an infection, and should be addressed promptly.
  • Receding gums: If the gum tissue around the implant is shrinking, this could be a sign of implant failure.
  • Loose implant: If you feel that your dental implant has become loose or starts to move, it’s important to visit your dentist immediately for an evaluation.

If you think you your dental implant is failing, it’s essential to contact a dental professional as soon as possible to explore the available options and ensure the best outcome. 

With proper care and maintenance, dental implants can last for many years. Understanding the risk factors associated with implant failure is key to making sure that your dental implant is successful.

For more information healing after dental implant surgery, read What To Expect After Dental Implant Surgery. 

Dental Implants in Highlands Ranch

Dental implants are a great solution to treat tooth loss and provide a natural-looking replacement that can improve your quality of life and boost confidence. With the right guidance and care, your implant can be a long-lasting investment in your oral health

If you are searching for a dental implant periodontist near me, contact Highlands Ranch Periodontics and Dental Implants. Our experienced dental implant specialists can provide you with a personalized treatment plan and help you achieve your desired results. We use the latest technologies and advanced procedures to ensure that our patients receive the best possible care. Schedule an appointment today to see how we can help improve your smile!

To book an appointment with Dr. Mike Norouzinia, DDS, or Dr. Kerri Font, DDS, call (303) 683-1144 or complete the online booking form. We look forward to meeting you!

Categories: Periodontics