Guide to Recognize and Prevent Dental Implant Failure

By Gentle Touch Dentistry Richardson

Dental implants are gradually becoming one of the most common methods of tooth replacement. According to the American Dental Association, dentists in the United States put in more than 5 million implants yearly. In general, getting a dental implant is a very reliable way to replace a missing tooth. But, even though it happens rarely, implants can fail. Whether you just got a dental implant or are thinking about getting one to replace a missing tooth, it’s important to know the signs of a failed dental implant and how to avoid it.

How To Recognize If A Dental Implant Will Work Or Not?

Most of the time, there are two types of dental implant failure: short-term and long-term. A short-term implant failure usually happens when the implant post doesn’t fully fuse with the jawbone. When this doesn’t work, a crown, bridge, or implant denture will need more support from an implant. Peri-implantitis, a long-term infection of the gum and bone that hold a dental implant in place, is often the cause of long-term implant failure.

The following are signs of both types of implant failure:

  • Changing an implant or crown
  • Getting swollen where the implant is
  • Inflammation of the gums 
  • Receding gums
  • Hard time chewing
  • Pain or distress that is very bad

A dental implant is a metal post surgically put into the jaw bone to hold a false tooth or tooth replacement. After the implant is put in, a dentist or oral surgeon will connect a replacement tooth to it.

During a dental implant procedure, the tooth roots are replaced with metal posts that look like screws and are broken, or missing teeth are replaced with fake teeth that look and work like natural teeth. Dental implant surgery can be a good choice if your dentures or bridges don’t fit well or if you don’t have enough natural tooth roots to hold your dentures or bridges in place.

Possible Causes Of Dental Implant Failure

The success of dental implants is often measured by how long the implant lasts. Most of the time, implant failure is caused by a complex process, such as damage to the bone during surgery, bone growth, or low bone quantity or quality. There are many reasons dental implants fail, including things you should watch out for.

Also, it’s important to find out if an implant is failing to prevent persistent alveolar bone loss, which could make it harder to replace the failed implant with a new one and change how the area looks.

Implant Misalignment

Making sure the implant is surrounded by bone is one of the hardest parts of dental implant surgery. The best place for the implant is sometimes where it fits best in the bone.

Because of this, the implant and bone may need to be in the right place. When the implant doesn’t line up with the bone, the crowns or replacement teeth may not look natural, the gums may recede, and the implant may be visible around the gum.

Inaccurate Impressions

The dentist makes molds of the teeth and sends them to a lab, where crowns are made. If the impressions are wrong, the replacement teeth might not fit right. A small difference can cause a gap between the crown and the gum, which hurts the look and function of the teeth. Bacteria can then get into the gums and cause an infection. Infections can be treated, but implants may need to be changed. It costs twice as much for the treatment.

If any cement that holds the new crown to the implant post gets on the gums, it can also cause an infection. That’s why the oral surgeon needs to have a lot of experience. They have to work accurately under high magnification, making it less likely that there will be gaps or mistakes.

Implants Are Comfortable

Dental implants are placed directly into your jawbone. They look like the roots of teeth and give the prosthetic more strength and support. During the healing process, your jawbone grows around the titanium rod in your jaw, which keeps it in place very well.

Because of this extra stability, implants feel just like natural teeth, and you may even forget you have them. Other ways to replace teeth can’t give you the same feeling as tooth roots. So they don’t feel as natural or safe as implants.


Infection around dental implants, known as peri-implantitis, is a leading cause of implant failure. It needs to be clarified if it’s a disease or a problem caused by something in the mouth that shouldn’t be there. Due to the growth of bacteria in the mouth, swelling could happen quickly after the surgery.

Peri-implantitis can hurt the gum and bone around the implant, which can lead to bone loss or failure of the implant. Even though the problem can be fixed, the implant must be changed. People with diabetes, people who smoke, and people who don’t take care of their teeth well are more likely to get a bacterial infection.

Nerve Damage

When an implant is put too close to the nerves in the mouth, nerve damage can happen. This is more likely to happen if the dentist isn’t very experienced and doesn’t use treatment planning. A treatment plan helps the dentist figure out where to put the implant in the mouth’s important structures and nerves.

Poor Oral Hygiene

If you don’t take care of your mouth and teeth properly after getting dental implants, you might have more problems with your teeth, which could cause the treatment to fail.

Osseointegration Didn’t Work

Osseointegration is the process by which bone and a titanium implant bond together. Most of the time, this takes weeks to months.

The implant might be partially joined to the jawbone. This can make the implant lose or even make it fall out. The main reason is that there isn’t enough bone to place the implant.

Dental implants depend on the health and density of the bone. Before the surgery, your implant dentist will check the health of your bone. A bone graft or a sinus lift operation could compensate for the lack of bone.

The Implant Didn’t Work

Even though it is made of strong metal, the implant post can be loose. When the implant post gets weaker, the movement can cause the implant to break.

Reaction To An Allergy

The Australian Dental Association says there is a chance of bad effects whenever something foreign is put into your body. Dental implants and other materials used with implants may cause a localized response. You must tell your dentist about any health problems or allergies so that the best materials can be used to treat you.

How Can Implant Failure Be Avoided or Minimized?

Practice Good Dental Hygiene Habits

Good oral hygiene is another way to lower the risk of infection after dental implants. Bacteria cause infections and brushing and flossing eliminate bacteria from the teeth and gums or reduce the chance that plaque will build up.

You might not be able to brush right over the wound until the gums have healed, but you should still brush and floss the teeth next to it. You can rinse your mouth with warm saltwater to clean the area around the cut without hurting the sutures.

Avoid Smoking

Another good way to avoid gum irritation and peri-implantitis is to stop smoking. People are more likely to get periodontal disease if they smoke or use other tobacco products. To make your dental implants last longer, don’t use tobacco products before oral surgery, and don’t smoke or use tobacco products for as long as you can.

It might seem impossible to stop. Still, we’d be happy to discuss ways to help you stop smoking.

Change Your Diet Temporarily

After getting dental implants, patients are told to change what they eat temporarily. Hard or chewy foods can be painful. Still, they can also slow the healing process and damage the incisions, which can all lead to the failure of a dental implant.

After getting dental implants, each person will be advised what to eat. Still, generally, patients should only eat liquids for the first 24 hours after the procedure. Then, for the first week, they should eat soft foods.

Follow Your Dentist’s Instructions For After-Care

Oral surgery places dental implants. Any surgery has a big chance of causing an infection. Because of the infection, the tissue becomes inflamed, and the implant might not fuse with the jawbone.

To lower the risk of infection for our patients, we may be given an antibiotic to take by mouth or an antibacterial rinse. Patients must take medications and rinses exactly as prescribed to lower the chance of infection or having a dental implant fail. You can visit our dental clinic for the best dental implant-related treatment.

1. How Do Diseases Around Implants Happen?

Peri-implant disease happens when bacteria gather around the gum line and the implant’s base.

It can hurt the gum and bone near the implant, leading to bone loss or the implant not working. Even though the problem can be fixed, the implant must be changed. People with diabetes, people who smoke, and people who don’t take care of their teeth well are more likely to get a bacterial infection.

2. What Are The Odds That Dental Implants Will Work?

The success rate of dental implants depends on where they are put in the jaw. On average, however, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. Taking good care of your dental implants could last for the rest of your life.

Also, studies show that lower jaw implants have a success rate of about 95% after five years, while upper jaw implants have a success rate of about 90% after five years. Because the upper jaw is less dense than the lower jaw, upper jaw implants have a slightly lower success rate. This makes it harder for the oral surgeon to implant the tooth and may make it harder for the bone to grow around the tooth.

3. Who Puts Dental Implants In People?

Dentists are the only ones who can do dental implant surgery. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons do the following: – Oral surgeons are experts in implant placement. Oral surgeons are also taught how to use higher levels of anesthesia safely.

Periodontists work to prevent, diagnose, and treat gum disease, also called periodontal disease. They have been trained in more advanced ways to put in dental implants and treat gum inflammation.

Prosthodontists are dentists who treat complex problems with the mouth and face. This includes using artificial tools to fix or replace teeth that are broken or missing.

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