The practice of dentistry has certainly evolved to a point that we never dreamed possible. With ease, it’s now common practice to replace a missing or damaged tooth with a dental implant that is nearly identical to other teeth. Furthermore, dental implant quality has adapted to an impressive standard that is now typical for even the most basic implants. However, despite the exceptional quality of dental implants and procedures these days, there are a few factors that can contribute to dental implant failure if we are not careful.
It’s important to maintain your dental implant with a proper care routine to ensure it lasts the longest possible length of time. In this blog we’ll go over the main causes of dental implant failure, how you can prevent it from occurring, and when it’s important to contact your dentist in case things go awry.
What causes dental implant failure?
There are two major conditions that make dental implants risky for some individuals: bone degradation and infections. These two conditions are problematic for a number of reasons, but for the purpose of this article they can significantly increase the risk of dental implant failure. After a dental implant takes place, the gums and area beneath it must adjust to the implant and adapt to its shape and form. Therefore, the area beneath the tooth and surrounding it are susceptible to bacterial growth, which can result in an infection.
Bone degradation can also cause the implant to not adhere to the jawbone properly, which often leads to a rejected implant. It’s critical to engage in adequate consultation with your dentist before a dental implant procedure to make sure your bone density in that area is appropriate for the procedure.
How to prevent dental implant failure after the procedure
After a dental implant procedure, there are important steps one should take in order to prevent implant failure from occurring. By following these simple tips you can avoid the disappointment, pain, and added cost of addressing a failed implant:
- Establish and adhere to a consistent dental hygiene routine (brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash that fights bacteria)
- Limiting sugar intake to the lowest amount possible
- Stay away from chewy, hard, or especially gooey foods that can easily get stuck inside or beneath a tooth
- Follow up with your dentist with any concerns you have
- Stay on top of regular check-ups to ensure the implant is integrating properly
Warning signs that you should contact your dentist
After undergoing a dental implant procedure, it’s critical to remain aware of how the area around the implant feels. It’s normal for the implant to feel odd, for your bite to require some adjusting, or for the area to be slightly sensitive for a few days; however, anything past that is cause for concern and should be followed up on with your dentist. Here are some warning signs to look for in a failed implant:
- Swollen, puffy, or irritated gums
- Significant pain not associated with normal healing
- Excessive discomfort
- The implant feels wobbly
How to address dental implant failure that has already occurred
Depending on the reason for the dental implant failure, your dentist may take a few steps to address the issue. For instance, if the failure is due to an infection then the implant will likely need to be removed and cleaned, the area beneath and surrounding must be cleaned, and your dentist will want to establish more efficient dental hygiene practices with you to ensure another infection doesn’t occur. When the problem is related to a bone degradation issue, the process to repair the problem may be more invasive. These cases are handled on an individual basis, often involving bone grafts.
Our commitment to safe and effective dentistry
Dental implants have revolutionized the way we idealize the “perfect” smile, and they have certainly helped to improve millions of lives all over the world. In our small community of Simi Valley, CA, the Dental Group of Simi Valley has helped countless individuals achieve the healthy smile they deserve. If you would like to speak with a dental professional to learn more about dental implants or schedule a consultation, please call us right away.