Dental implants are a long-term, permanent solution for replacing missing teeth. They enjoy a high rate of success while providing multiple benefits including preventing your teeth from shifting, maintaining bone structure for the support of your muscles, improving chewing ability, and giving you the increased confidence to smile. Although dental implants are a preferred tooth replacement solution, some people do experience implant failure usually due to insufficient jaw bone or underlying dental and medical conditions.
Educating yourself about the common dental implant problems will help you prevent them, reducing the risk of failure.
Early Dental Implant Problems
Tooth implant problems may occur at any time; however, they are more likely to occur within the first 3 to 4 months following the placement procedure. Here are some reasons why implants fail:
Infection at the Implant Site
Smoking, autoimmune diseases, and poor oral hygiene can contribute to an infection after the procedure. Treatment for infection depends on its location and severity. For example, a gum infection may require treatment with antibiotics or a soft tissue graft. In contrast, a bone infection may require removal of the implant and the infected surrounding bone tissue. A bone graft may be necessary after a period of healing.
It is possible for implants made from titanium alloy to cause an allergic reaction in certain people. This is quite rare but it does happen. Symptoms include loss of taste, swelling, and tingling or burning sensation. In such cases, it may be necessary to replace the implant with one made from a different type of material.
Insufficient Bone Support
Not everyone is a candidate for dental implant placement. If you do not have sufficient jaw bone to support the implant, the implant will not properly integrate with your jaw and failure will occur. Therefore, your denturist needs to make sure that you have adequate bone support for tooth implant integration prior to performing the procedure.
Implant micro-movements may occur when your implant becomes unstable due to immediate placement. Generally, a denture is not attached to an implant until the jaw bone properly integrates with the implant. There are cases where a dental surgeon may perform an immediate tooth replacement following implantation. This can increase stress on the body of the implant, leading to complications and failure.
Common Dental Implants
Here are some common problems that you may experience after a dental implant procedure:
Osseointegration (the process of an implant fusing with the jaw bone) begins within the first few weeks following the implant placement procedure. Complete osseointegration, essential for the long-term success of the implant, usually takes 4 to 6 months. If the implant does not fuse with your jaw bone, your surgeon will remove it and repeat the procedure once the site is healed.
Sometimes, gum tissue around your implant may begin to recede, causing pain and/or inflammation. Visit your dentist as soon as possible to prevent the issue from advancing. The sooner the problem is addressed, the better the outcome.
Placing an implant too close to a nerve can cause nerve damage accompanied by a tingling sensation, pain, or persistent numbness. Nerve damage requires immediate attention. Left untreated, injury to the inferior alveolar nerve in the lower jaw can result in long-term complications.
Less Common Dental Implant Issues
Here are some less common but possible dental implant issues that may develop with time:
Damage from Excessive Force
Persistent teeth grinding can damage the bone/implant integration. Injury can result in a loosened implant, leading to dental implant failure.
An implant placed in the upper jaw can extend into sinus cavities, causing swelling, chronic sinusitis, loss of smell, pain, chronic bad breath, and blocked nasal passages often accompanied by a green or yellow discharge. If you experience any of these symptoms, notify your implant surgeon immediately.
Symptoms of Failed Tooth Implant
- Pain or discomfort around the implant
- Difficulty chewing
- Loosened implant/denture
- Gum inflammation or recession
- Increased swelling
How to Prevent Dental Implant Failure
Follow these tips to prevent dental implant problems that may result in implant failure:
- Practice good oral hygiene
- Quit smoking
- Increase your consumption of calcium-rich foods to strengthen bone
- If you grind your teeth, wear a mouthguard
- Do not chew hard candy or ice
- Visit your dentist every 6 months for regular implant maintenance
If you are looking for high-quality, affordable implant-retained dentures to replace your missing teeth, contact European Denture Center today. We can create customized dentures that fit properly and meet your specific dental needs while minimizing the risks of dental implant failure.