Dental implant failure is quite rare, and you can increase your odds of success by taking a few important precautions.
According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), the success rate of dental implants is more than 95 percent. And when the an experienced and qualified oral surgeon performs the procedure, the success rate is even greater.
But occasionally, dental implants fail to fuse to the jawbone and must be replaced. Understanding the risk factors for this rare occurrence can help you avoid any potential problems.
Recognizing a Failed Dental Implant
How will you know if an implant has failed?
It may feel loose in the jaw, and you may even be able to wobble it as though it were a loose tooth. If your implant is connected to a bridge, however, you may not notice any movement, as the bridge holds it in place.
Discomfort or pain is another sign of a potential problem. You also may see gum shrinkage around the implant, exposing the metal surface. Or your gums could swell over the tooth.
A well-placed, successful dental implant will look and feel just like your natural teeth.
Common Causes of Dental Implant Failure
What actually causes dental implants to fail?
In many cases, a bacterial infection is the culprit. When the tissue around the implant becomes infected, bacteria can spread directly to the jawbone and lead to bone loss, a condition referred to as peri-implantitis.
When caught early, however, the infection can be treated and implant failure can usually be prevented.
Inadequate jawbone density can also cause implant failure. Fortunately, this condition is usually avoidable. By performing a bone graft prior to installing implants, we can ensure that you have sufficient bone in which to secure the titanium post.
Risk Factors for Dental Implant Failure
Are you at risk for implant failure?
Studies have shown that people with certain chronic health conditions may be more vulnerable. Diabetes, Crohn’s disease and osteoporosis all have been associated with increased failure rates. Any chronic condition could affect your outcome, so be sure to inform your oral surgeon of your medical history.
Do you smoke? Research has shown that smokers — particularly those who smoke more than 10 cigarettes per day — are more likely to have failed implants. Quit smoking before you have dental implants to give yourself the best chance at success.
You can take other steps to help ensure that your implants last.
Maintain solid oral health care habits, including daily brushing and flossing, and see your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups. Also, avoid damaging habits, such as crunching ice and biting your nails. Most complications and failures can be avoided, clearing the way for your strong, natural tooth restorations.
At Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, our experienced oral surgeons take every possible action to ensure that you don’t have to worry about problems or complications. Contact one of our convenient Salt Lake City area locations today to schedule your consultation or to learn more about the dental implant procedure.