Dental Implant Failure and Treatment Options

Dental Implant Failure and Treatment Options

Dental implant failure, while relatively rare, can be a distressing experience. It generally occurs when the implant does not properly integrate with the jawbone or when complications arise post-surgery. Recognizing the signs of failure and knowing the options available for rectifying the issue are essential for patients undergoing implant procedures.



Signs of Dental Implant Failure

  1. Pain and Discomfort: While some pain is normal immediately after the surgery, persistent or worsening pain over time could indicate a problem.
  2. Mobility: Any movement in the implant itself is a clear sign of failure, as implants are designed to be fixed securely within the jawbone.
  3. Swelling and Inflammation: Prolonged or severe swelling and redness around the implant site may suggest infection or improper healing.
  4. Gum Recession: If the gums start to recede around the implant, it might be failing to integrate with the bone.
  5. Difficulty Chewing or Biting: If biting or chewing becomes painful or the implant feels unstable, it might not be functioning correctly.

What causes implants to fail?

  • Infection: Known as peri-implantitis, an infection can develop from poor oral hygiene or complications during surgery.
  • Insufficient Bone Growth: Failure can occur if the bone does not grow adequately around the implant to hold it securely (a process known as osseointegration).
  • Mechanical Problems: This includes issues with the implant itself or with the components that attach the implant to the prosthetic tooth.
  • Medical Conditions: Diseases like diabetes or habits such as smoking can interfere with the healing process and the long-term stability of the implant.


The good news is that even when dental implants fail, there are options for correcting the implant failure and restoring a full, healthy smile.


Options for failed dental implants

Whether your implant has been broken, or it feels wobbly, or you’re experiencing pain at the implant site, it’s important to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner your dentist can uncover the cause for the implant failure, the sooner they’ll be able to correct the problem and restore your ability to chew, laugh, and talk freely and without pain. Options for correcting failed implants and rejuvenating the smile depend on the type and cause of implant failure. For example:

  1. Removal of the Implant: If an implant fails, the first step is often its removal. This procedure is typically straightforward but requires healing time before any further corrective procedures are attempted.
  2. Bone Grafting: If bone loss around the implant site is significant, a bone graft may be necessary. This process involves adding bone or bone-like materials to the jaw to increase bone density and support a new implant.
  3. Replacement with a New Implant: After addressing any underlying issues and allowing time for healing and bone growth, a new implant can be placed. This option depends on the overall health of the jawbone and the patient’s general oral health.
  4. Alternative Dental Prosthetics: If replacing the implant isn’t viable, other dental prosthetics like bridges or partial dentures may be considered. These can restore functionality and aesthetics without the need for bone integration.
  5. Management of Contributing Factors: Addressing factors like diabetes management or cessation of smoking is crucial for the success of any subsequent implant procedures.
  6. Supportive Treatments: Use of antibiotics to manage infections, anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling, and meticulous oral hygiene practices are essential supports in managing implant failure.

In other words, there is no one-size-fits-all for failed implants. The only way to know for sure which type of treatment will be most appropriate for correcting your failed implants is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hage.


Failed dental implants? Call Smile Designers!


At Smile Designers in San Diego, we’re committed to patient education, comfort, and satisfaction. If you’re experiencing pain, breakage, or looseness of any of your dental implants, we can help. During your consultation, we’ll perform a thorough evaluation to determine the exact cause of your implant failure, and then we’ll design a treatment plan to correct it so you can get back enjoying the foods you love as soon as possible. We’ll also do everything we can to keep you comfortable every step of the way. To learn more about your options for correcting dental implant failure or to schedule consultation, give us a call at (619) 222-6000 today.