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Dental Implant Failure - Possible Reasons

What is a dental implant failure?

Loose implants, inflammation of the gums, pain around the implant - these are the most common signs of a dental implant failure. There are many reasons for implant failure, lack of experience of the dentist, neglecting proper oral hygiene and many other things can lead to a failed implant.

It's important to know that a few percent (2%-4%) of the implants do fail, even if the treatment has been carried out perfectly and the patient exercised proper oral hygiene. Sometimes the body simply rejects the implant.

Types of Dental Implant Failure

Infection - Poorly fitted fixtures or the use of inappropriate technique can cause persistent infection which will require the removal of the screw. Substandard fixtures are very common especially when the dentist does not have experience or if a cheaper type of implant is used.

Loose Implants - This is caused again by substandard fixtures, but it can also be caused if the implant is placed on a not so solid bone structure. Loose crowns on an implant can also be a sign of a dental implant problem.

Nerve impairment - Without the use of proper techniques, it can cause to numbness, pain or persistent tingling sensation.

Causes of Dental Implant Failure

There are many reasons for dental implant failure. One of the most common causes is when both patient and dentist try to settle for cheaper solution.There is a reason why certain implants cost more than others...

Some other reasons for dental implant failure:

Shortcutting the diagnostic phase - Dental implant requires the use of three-dimensional panographic x-ray, some dentist go for two-dimensional to shortcut the diagnostic phase.

Inadequate information on the patient’s medical history - There are many medical conditions that can affect the success or failure of dental implant treatment. This should be considered by the dentist before any dental treatment is done. A thorough interview and diagnosis should be done to avoid any complications later on.

Inadequate dental implant fixtures - Dental implants need to undergo extreme research, and even though there are hundreds of companies that manufacture dental implant fixtures, only a few have been really vigilant in their research programs. Research is expensive, that is why there are expensive dental implant procedures, because the dentist uses high quality fixtures.

Incorrect placement of dental implant - this problem has a very strong connection with having an inadequate diagnosis, it is during the diagnostic stage that the assessment is made on where to place the implant, what type of implant to use. It could also be due to a lack of communication between the restorative dentist and the surgeon who will do replace the dental implant.

A great video about a few implant related problems and methods to fix them. Duration: 2:46.

What can you do to avoid problems with your implant?

First and foremost you should practice proper oral hygiene during and after the healing phase.

Try to find an experienced dental surgeon who you trust, maybe was recommended by your friend or you can talk to former patients to ask for their feedback.

You should also be aware of the fact that dental implants are expensive, both the material and dentist costs are high. You can always go for a cheap solution, however this might result in a lower quality implant or less experienced dentist doing the treatment.

Many people travel abroad to get dental implants in a country where they are cheaper than in their home country. You can find great dentists in Poland, Hungary, Mexico. You can save about 30% - 60%.

Of course, you should always get a written treatment plan and check how many years of guarantee the dentist offers on the implant. Some dentists offer 2 years guarantee for certain type of implants, while other dentists for other type of implants offer 10-15 years or lifetime guarantee.

The average success rate of dental implants are around 98%. This means if a dentist places 500 implants a year, on average 10 of those will fail. It should be taken into consideration that dental implant requires surgery, and a surgical procedure is not a hundred percent sure fire success most of the time. Even if the treatment was carried out with the utmost care, dental implants do fail sometimes.

A video about the importance of oral hygiene for people with implants. Duration: 1:22.

A video about the Laser Assisted Peri-Implantitis Procedure (LAPIP). Duration: 3:14.

If bone loss occurs around an implant, additional bone grafting is needed to save the implant and the crown. Duration: 2:34.