Dental implants are an effective long-term solution for replacing missing teeth. Implants have a 95 percent success rate. But at times, dental implants fail. What causes failure, what are the symptoms, and what can prevent it?
What Causes Dental Implant Failure?
Common causes of dental implant failure include uncontrolled gum disease, poor oral hygiene, smoking, insufficient bone volume, and an inexperienced implant dentist.
- Uncontrolled gum disease – Your gums should be healthy before you receive dental implants. Unhealthy gum tissue breeds bacteria that will surround your implant, spread into the bone, and prevent healing.
- Poor oral hygiene – The process of your jawbone and the implant fusing requires a healthy environment. Good oral hygiene promotes healthy dental implants overall.
- Smoking – Smoking restricts blood flow, slows the healing process, and can cause dental implant failure. You are encouraged to quit smoking before you receive dental implants.
- Insufficient bone volume – Your jawbone is the foundation for dental implants. If you don’t have enough bone volume to support dental implants, they can fail without bone grafting.
- Inexperienced implant dentist – An implant dentist must follow a strict protocol for planning, selecting, placing, and providing follow-up care for dental implants. If a dentist takes shortcuts during the process, mistakes can occur and cause serious problems, such as nerve damage and infection.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Dental Implant Failure?
Some of the signs and symptoms of dental implant failure include:
- Sharp or radiating pain – Although you will feel discomfort after implant surgery, you should not feel persistent sharp or radiating pain.
- Complications with your gums – Red, swollen, itchy, receding, or bleeding gums that persist or increase in severity are signs of an infection that needs prompt treatment.
- Painful chewing – An implant should function like a natural tooth. If you feel pain or discomfort when you are eating, your implant might be failing.
- Unstable implants – Your implant should not move or feel loose.
How Can Dental Implant Failure Be Avoided?
The best way to avoid dental implant failure is to use advanced 3-D technology to plan for and place implants and to use high-quality implant fixtures. Additionally, good oral hygiene habits and follow-up visits monitor the progress of your implants.
Dr. Sirin has advanced technology in his office to provide you with a successful outcome. Although many dentists only take two-dimensional x-rays before implant placement, he uses a Planmeca® Promax CT scan to take 3-D images. 3-D images reveal the exact position of your orofacial anatomy, including sinus cavities, adjacent teeth, and nerves, to help avoid mistakes. Dr. Sirin also uses a 3-D printer to make surgical guides for optimal placement.
After implant surgery, carefully follow Dr. Sirin’s instructions for maintaining good oral hygiene and avoid smoking. Keep your follow-up appointments. Early detection of the slightest issue with your implants can prevent dental implant failure.