Can dental implants fail?

Although dental implants have a high success rate across the globe, there are still risks of implant failure in some patients. Like every other surgical procedure, there are some internal and external factors that cause complications. Dental implants are designed to permanently replace a missing tooth or teeth. But what causes implants to fail in some patients but not in others?

Failed Osseointegration (Implant is loose or falls out)

Osseointegration is the formation of a direct structural and functional connection between the bone and the dental implant. It takes several months for osseointegration to form after the placement of the implants. If the osseointegration is not properly formed, the implant won’t fuse with the jawbone, making the implant loose and unsupported, deeming it as a failure. Several factors can cause this to happen including incorrect positioning, insufficient bone density or volume, overloading, damage to surrounding tissues, sudden impact, fractured implants or even a reaction to anaesthesia.

Peri-implantitis (Infection)

Peri-implantitis settles in when bacteria is present in the mouth during surgery, or anytime post-surgery when proper dental hygiene routines are neglected. Peri-implantitis is a  periodontal disease which causes bone loss and implant failure. Although this disease can be treated, in some cases the implant will need to be removed.

Nerve and tissue damage

Although the possibility of nerve and tissue damage is rare, when an implant is placed too close to a nerve, patients may experience chronic pain, numbness in their cheek, gums, lips, tongue and chin. The nerve damage could be temporary and the implant might need to be removed.

Sinus Problems

Sinuses can be a major challenge for dental implants replacing teeth in the upper row. In addition to the presence of the sinuses, insufficient bone quality and quantity in the upper back jaw can make dental implant procedures in this area difficult. In cases where the bone is insufficient, a sinus augmentation can be performed by an oral surgeon. This creates more bone to support the implant.

If you are currently considering dental implants, it is recommended that you contact a dentist in Claremont who will have you make an educated decision about dental implants and its suitability to you.