6 Reasons Why Dental Implants Can Fail

Dentist check - dental implant fail - Tasmania

Dental implants have become a popular and effective solution for replacing missing teeth in Tasmania. However, while the success rate of dental implant procedures is incredibly high, there are cases where implants can go wrong, leading to complications and implant failure. Understanding the reasons behind implant failures and taking preventive measures can significantly enhance the long-term success of dental implant treatment. Equally, knowing what to do in the rare event of dental implant failure can make all the difference, reducing discomfort and further complications. 


The Signs of Dental Implant Failure


While dental implants have a high success rate, there are instances where complications can arise, leading to implant failure. It’s crucial to be aware of the signs and symptoms that may indicate implant problems, such as:


  • Pain or Discomfort – persistent pain or discomfort around the implant site could be an indication of implant failure. This discomfort may be accompanied by swelling, tenderness, or a throbbing sensation.
  • Mobility or Loosening – dental implants are designed to be stable and fused with the jawbone. If an implant becomes loose or starts to move, it could be a sign of implant failure due to poor osseointegration, infection, or inadequate support. 
  • Gum Inflammation or Infection – redness, swelling, or inflammation around the implant area may indicate peri-implantitis, an inflammatory condition similar to gum disease. If left untreated, peri-implantitis can lead to bone loss and implant failure. 
  • Changes in Bite or Alignment – dental implants should function harmoniously with the surrounding teeth. If there are changes in the way the teeth come together or if the bite feels uneven or uncomfortable, it could be a sign of implant failure. 
  • Swollen or Receding Gums – swelling or recession of the gums around the implant can be a sign of underlying issues such as infection or bone loss. Healthy gums should fit snugly around the implant without any signs of inflammation or recession. 


It’s important to note that these signs may vary depending on the individual and the specific circumstances. If any concerns or potential signs of implant failure arise, it’s recommended to consult with a dental professional experienced in implant dentistry. Early detection and timely intervention can help address the issue and increase the chances of successful implant rehabilitation.


6 Reasons Why Dental Implants Fail


A dental implant can fail due to a variety of reasons, including the general health of the patient, the standard of aftercare, and the skill and competence of the dentist. However, there are six factors that usually contribute to implant failure:


  1. Insufficient Bone Quantity and Quality: insufficient bone density at the implant site can compromise the stability and integration of the implant, leading to the implant loosening. 
  2. Infections and Peri-Implantitis – bacterial contamination during surgery, poor oral hygiene, or untreated gum disease can lead to inflammation and infection around the implant. 
  3. Improper Implant Placement – implants must be positioned at the correct depth and angle to ensure proper support and distribution of forces during chewing. Inadequate planning, incorrect angulation, or improper positioning of the implant can lead to biomechanical complications and implant failure. 
  4. Poorly Taken Impressions – even a small misfit in replacement teeth can create a gap between the crown and the gumline and comprise the underlying teeth. If bacteria are allowed to get in, infection and implant failure can result. 
  5. Poor Osseointegration – the process of bone integration with the implant surface is crucial for the long-term stability and success of the implant. Factors such as smoking, uncontrolled diabetes, radiation therapy, or certain medications can hinder the osseointegration process. 
  6. Lack of Patient Compliance and Follow-up Care – patients should adhere to post-operative instructions, maintain good oral hygiene practices, attend regular dental check-ups, and promptly address any concerns or issues related to their implants. 


How to Reduce the Chance of Implant Failure


While dental implants are a highly successful tooth replacement option, they can go wrong due to various factors. By addressing potential risk factors and implementing preventive measures, such as thorough patient assessment, proper surgical techniques, meticulous oral hygiene, and regular follow-up care with an experienced Launceston implant dentist, the chances of implant failure can be significantly reduced.


If you have dental implant surgery and notice any of the possible signs of dental implant failure, it’s vital that you visit your implant dentist as soon as possible. It’s possible to treat infections, reduce inflammation or even perform bone grafts where necessary. Ultimately, the earlier a problem is detected, the better chance there is of treating it and avoiding implant failure. 

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