Can You Fix a Failing Dental Implant?

Dental implants have revolutionized dentistry by providing a long-lasting, natural-looking solution for missing teeth.

However, dental implants can occasionally experience complications or failures like any medical procedure. Dental implant failure is rare, occurring in only a small percentage of cases. When it does happen, it can be attributed to various factors.

If you have a failing dental implant, you may be wondering if it can be fixed or if it needs to be removed entirely. Here, we explore the reasons behind implant failure and the potential options for repairing a dental implant.

If Your Implant Was Not Properly Placed

Proper placement is crucial for the success of dental implants [1].

Since the implant essentially replaces your tooth’s root, it must be positioned properly to avoid affecting the neighboring teeth. In addition, the dental crown on the end of the implant needs to be well-fitted to your unique bite to support the forces of biting and chewing so the implant will not cause pain or discomfort.

If the position of the implant and crown are not correct, the implant may eventually fail, becoming loose, causing pain or discomfort, swelling, or redness and discoloration around the implant site.

When Your Implant Doesn’t Heal Properly

There are many reasons a dental implant may not heal properly.

The implant may have been improperly placed, making proper healing and bone integration impossible. You may have started eating foods that are hard to chew too soon, leading to too much pressure on the implant too soon.

Some patients may also have not had enough bone to support the implant in the first place, which can lead to poor osseointegration and a failed implant.

An implant may also fail due to peri-implantitis, an inflammation of the tissues surrounding the implant [2]. Peri-implantitis can result from poor oral hygiene, smoking, or a preexisting periodontal disease.

If You Need a Bone Graft

About 50% of patients seeking dental implants will need a bone graft before the procedure [3]. This is because when a person loses a natural tooth, the body naturally gets rid of the bone that held the tooth in place, and most of this bone loss happens within the first few months after losing a tooth.

Without a bone graft, there may not be enough bone in the jaw to properly support the implant. If the implant was placed without enough bone to support it, it may fail. However, it is also possible to lose bone over time from gum disease or arthritis, and a bone graft may be needed post-procedure to save the implant.

If You Need Treatment for Gum Disease

Patients with dental implants who develop gum disease may experience implant failure [4]. Gum disease can cause gum recession and bone loss, leading to a grayish appearance as the implant shows through the gum tissue and the appearance of longer-looking teeth.

Without treatment for gum disease, a dental implant can fail. Keeping your regular dental appointments can help ensure your smile is healthy and catch gum disease early to minimize necessary treatment and restore the health of the implant.

What to Do If You Believe Your Implant Is Failing

When faced with a failing dental implant, the first step is to consult your implant dentist or oral surgeon. They will examine your implant and conduct a thorough assessment to determine the cause of the failure.

In some cases, addressing the underlying issue can save the implant and prevent further complications. However, sometimes, the failing dental implant may need to be removed and replaced.

It is crucial to work with an experienced implant dentist or oral surgeon who can guide you through the process and ensure the best outcome. They will consider factors such as bone loss, overall oral health, and your specific needs to develop a treatment plan that maximizes the chances of success.

Are You Seeing Signs of a Failed Dental Implant?

While dental implant failure is rare, it can happen due to various factors. It is important to seek professional advice from a qualified dental professional to determine the best course of action. With proper diagnosis, treatment, and aftercare, a failing dental implant can be fixed or replaced, allowing you to regain a functional and beautiful smile.

Sources:

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9967359/
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612185/
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4819798/
4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21635280/

Summary
Article Name
Can You Fix a Failing Dental Implant?
Description
If you have a failing dental implant, you may be wondering if it can be fixed or if it needs to be removed entirely. Here, we explore the reasons behind implant failure and the potential options for repairing a dental implant.
Author
Elite Prosthetic Dentistry