Dental implants have a 95 to 98 percent success rate. So, if you are thinking about getting them, you can be confident that implants are a long-lasting solution for tooth replacement. Still, what happens if a dental implant fails? We will explain what affects your treatment options.
Should I Repair or Replace a Failed Dental Implant?
If a part of your dental implant breaks or gets damaged, your oral surgeon will need to determine if the implant needs to be replaced or repaired. But the causes of failure may be related to something other than the implant parts. Although your oral surgeon may be able to save a failing implant, if it already failed, your options depend on the status of your oral health and the cause of failure. Consulting with a highly skilled oral surgeon upfront can help you avoid or overcome dental implant failure.
What Are Causes and Treatment of Dental Implant Failure?
Causes and treatment for dental implant failure depend on when and why an implant fails. Generally, an oral surgeon will remove the implant, determine if your gums or bone require treatment, and allow the area to heal. An experienced surgeon can determine the cause of implant failure and explain how to resolve it. Experts classify dental implant failure as early or short-term and late or long-term failure.
Early Or Short-Term Dental Implant Failure
Early or short-term implant failure occurs when your jawbone and implant do not fuse. Uncontrolled diabetes, smoking, low bone volume, or implant fixtures may contribute to short-term dental implant failure. After an examination and 3-D CT scans, a skilled surgeon can develop a treatment plan to help you regain your oral health for dental implant replacement or alternative treatment.
Dental Implant Fixtures And Early Failure
Short-term dental implant failure can occur even with an intact dental implant. According to the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, factors that may cause an implant to fail include:
- Surface texture
- Abutment or connector attached to it
An article in BioMed Central Oral Health published study results on early implant failure in a dental practice. In that case, the risk of early implant failure was higher in patients who received a bone grafting procedure and implants shorter than 10mm.
Consulting with a highly experienced oral surgeon will help you minimize the risks of dental implant failure.
Late Or Long-Term Dental Implant Failure
Long-term dental implant failure occurs after the implant and jawbone are locked, but other factors cause problems. A loose or broken implant screw or abutment can be at fault. Also, peri-implant disease may threaten implant health.
Broken Or Loose Implant Screw
If an implant screw or abutment breaks or loosens, possible causes include:
- Excessive pressure on the implant from forces like heavy chewing or teeth grinding
- Gum or bone disease
- Implant material or quality
- Restoration (crown or denture) position
After your dental implants heal, regular maintenance from your dentist and periodic x-rays are essential for the early detection of issues with your bone, gum, and implant health.
Peri-implant disease is chronic inflammation and infection of the gums around dental implants. Signs and symptoms include bleeding, swelling, and discomfort. Untreated peri-implant disease can spread to the jawbone. Risk factors include smoking, uncontrolled diabetes, and poor plaque control. If your dentist or surgeon detects disease before your dental implant fails, the American Association for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon’s (AAOMS) states that your surgeon may recommend a combination of treatments, including:
- More frequent dental hygiene appointments
- Changes in your oral hygiene habits at home
However, if a dental implant fails due to peri-implant disease, treatment may include:
- Bone grafting
- Implant removal
- Implant replacement
After an exam and diagnostic studies, your oral surgeon will explain your treatment options.
Get Reliable Diagnostics and Treatment from OKC-OMS
If you are experiencing dental implant complications—or if you want to avoid them—the board-certified surgeons at OKC-OMS in Oklahoma City can help. After a thorough examination and studying 3-D images of your teeth, gums, bone, and implants, one of our surgeons will identify issues that may put your dental implants at risk.
Contact us for an appointment to learn more.