A dental implant, by all means, is the ultimate solution for replacing a missing tooth and restoring your smile. More so, implants are an ideal alternative to bridges or teeth dentures — having had tremendous acceptance and success rates over the past years. Nonetheless, like many other implants, exceptional circumstances can lead to dental implant failure.
Signs of Dental Implant Failure
Although dental implant failure is a rare happening, it can result in severe discomfort, or worse, cause further dental complications.
The common signs of dental implants failure include:
- Swelling or inflammation of the region around the gums
- Severe pain and discomfort
- Implant becoming loose and moving in the mouth
Mainly, dental implant failure is attributed to various factors such as the patient’s general health, the know-how and skills of the dentist, and the post-procedure care given to the implant.
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So, What Are the Common Causes of Dental Implant Failure?
1. Misalignment of the Implant
In most dental implant surgeries, the challenging part is always positioning the implant to ensure it’s surrounded by bone. At times, the location of the bone may not always be a perfect spot for the implant. Both can be misaligned, causing the crown to look unnatural due to receding of the gums, which exposes the grey metal of the implants.
More than often, rectifying a misaligned implant is always a tricky ordeal since it can lead to severe damage to the bone and adjacent teeth. For this reason, it’s essential to get it right the first time by choosing an experienced dentist.
2. Bone Loss and Osseointegration.
Bone loss and osseointegration are often associated with long waiting periods after the tooth loss or extraction to get an implant. The affected area is left exposed without any support; thus, degradation and weakening of the jawbone kick in.
When this happens, it’s challenging to perform the implant procedure due to a lack of osseointegration. Osseointegration is a bone connection formed whereby the bone attaches itself to the implant, growing around it to create a sturdy support for years to come.
3. Peri-Implantitis And Other Infections
Peri-implantitis has been identified as one of the leading causes of implant failure. However, it’s still debatable whether peri-implantitis is a disease or complication due to the insertion of a foreign object in the oral cavity. Similarly, after the dental procedure, inflammation may occur due to bacteria around the area.
Peri-implantitis has the potential of damaging the bone and gum around the implant, ultimately leading to implant failure. While it’s treatable, the implants, in most cases, will need replacement. People prone to peri-implantitis include those with diabetes, bad oral hygiene, and smokers.
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4. Occlusal Overload
Occlusal overload refers to when the bite force around the dental implant and other force is greater than the teeth can withstand. It’s a point of concern since it can lead to fracture and loosening of the implant.
When that happens, it will most likely lead to peri-implantitis and, eventually, implant failure. Occlusal overload is caused by excessive bite force and other causation factors, such as the existence of long cantilevers and inadequate occlusal surfaces. Being proactive in taking care of the implant and getting specialized corrective action by a specialist can control the risks of occlusal overload.
5. Poorly Taken Impressions
Dental impressions are molds of your dental arrangement done by a dentist and taken to a laboratory to have the crowns made. If not done to perfection, the implants may not fit as required. Any slight misfit can cause a gap between the gum and the crown, compromising the function and final look of the implant.
The gap can be a breeding ground for bacteria, leading to an infection. Though the infection is treatable, first, you’ll have to bear the cost of removing the implant. Similarly, you can get an infection due to the leakage of the cement binding the crown and the implant onto the gums.
Implant dentistry is an exciting field, but its success is highly reliant on the skills and competence of your dentist to avert most of the above causes of implant failure. Therefore, before venturing into getting your missing teeth replaced, you should carefully vet your dental specialist.