Most people consider a dental implant a permanent remedy for tooth loss. While this is true in most situations, some dental implants do fail. However, according to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Dentistry, the failure risk is relatively low -, the likelihood of early failure of dental implants was just under 7%.
Late implant failure is harder to identify, but according to a study published in Clinical Implant Dentistry and Related Research, 5 to 10% of dental implants fail in total. While dentists and oral surgeons can take prophylactic efforts to avoid implant failure, a failing implant generally demands removal.
What exactly is peri-implantitis?
Peri-implantitis, like gum disease, is a progressing disorder. It all starts when bacterial plaque develops into calculus beneath the gum line. In response, the gum tissue becomes diseased and pulls away from the dental implant. If not treated, the inflammation will destroy the gum tissue and bone around the dental implant. If peri-implantitis is not treated, the dental implant will fail and must be removed.
What factors contribute to the failure of dental implants?
In general, dental implants fail for two reasons: recurrent infection or inability to integrate with the jawbone. While infection can cause implant failure years after the implant is placed, patients are at a higher risk of infection just after the implant is implanted. As a result, some oral surgeons choose to administer prophylactic antibiotics to reduce the chance of infection.
The process of osseointegration (the implant merging with surrounding bone) is often halted or never finished in many cases of implant failure. According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Indian Prosthodontic Society, Osseointegration happens in stages and can take up to 12 weeks in total.
While a successful implant will entirely osseointegrate, some lifestyle choices and pre-existing medical issues may preclude full integration. These factors can increase the likelihood of implant failure in patients:
- Diabetes that is not well-controlled
- Periodontal disease
- Low jaw bone density
- Inadequate oral hygiene
What are the signs of failing dental implants?
While implant-supported restorations are more robust and secure than traditional alternatives, they are not intended to endure indefinitely. They are subjected to daily wear, impairing their performance.
If you see any of the following, you may need to replace your restoration:
- Significant alterations in the restoration's fit
- Dental porcelain chips or fractures
- A loose restoration
- Excessive wear on the dental crown's surface
Is it possible that my implant has failed?
The first indicator of a malfunctioning implant is often mobility. This occurs when the bone surrounding the implant is not developing correctly. Initially, there may be minor movement detectable by a dentist, but an implant that has failed to integrate will feel unsteady and may move when the individual chews or talks. A completely failing implant will be moveable regularly.
Pain, swelling, or infection are symptoms of an osseointegrated dental implant. However, they are not always present. A failing implant's X-ray will typically show bone loss surrounding the implant. So, if there is any movement in the implant, we will take an X-ray to look at the bone growth.
What is the procedure for the removal of a dental implant?
If a patient's dental implant needs removing, the procedure can be time-consuming and is usually done in stages.
Surgical Removal of failed dental implant
This stage is identical to the first implant implantation in that the implant must be physically removed from the patient. However, an implant that has been in place for two years or more, as well as an implant that is particularly close to nerves or sinus cavities, will generally require more effort and time to remove.
Using bone grafts
Patients frequently require a bone transplant before implant placement. A graft may also be necessary following implant removal. This induces the body to produce new bone in the jaw, which may be helpful if the implant fails due to insufficient bone density or bone loss caused by a chronic infection.
Inserting a new dental implant
In most circumstances, a patient can have a new implant implanted after recovering from the removal of teeth and bone grafting.
Do you have any further questions about sinus lift surgery and dental implants?
If you have any further questions about sinus lift surgery and dental implants, you can schedule a consultation with Dr. Adatrow. Dr. Adatrow has 20 years of experience in placing dental implants, with a success rate of over 97%, and can provide you with the best possible dental treatment. He is a Board-Certified Prosthodontist and Periodontist in Memphis, Tennessee. Please get in touch with our office to schedule your consultation now!