September 29, 2017
If there is any evidence of a “sure thing” in tooth replacement, dental implants have to be it. They have a remarkably high survival rate of >98%, according to the American Association of Endodontists. And dental implants also offer a wealth of benefits, not the least of which is a healthy, confident smile.
Even still, though, dental implants do occasionally fail — and it’s an expensive and time-consuming process when they do. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to keep that from happening to you. Keep reading to learn why implants may fail and what you can do to promote good implant health for a lifetime to come.
What Causes Implant Failure
When placed in healthy patients who do not smoke, dental implants have a very high chance of surviving. But when an infection settles in the bone tissue around the implant, the condition known as peri-implantitis diminishes the bond between the implant and bone and can cause the implant to become loose or fall out.
Peri-implantitis is primarily caused by poor dental hygiene post-implantation. The infection can also settle around the implant at the time of the procedure.
Other reasons for implant failure include smoking/tobacco use (a significant factor), mechanical problems with the implant, and rejection of the implant.
What to Do If An Implant Comes Loose
If you notice an implant has become loose in your jaw, that means bone has been lost between the implant and jaw. Do not wiggle the implant, as that could cause further bone degeneration and result in the total loss of the implant.
Contact your dentist immediately in the case of a loose dental implant. We will determine if the implant itself is loose or if you just have a problem with the prosthetic tooth or abutment and proceed accordingly. You can take an over-the-counter pain medication in the meantime if the implant is causing you discomfort.
Keeping Your Dental Implants Healthy
The best way to prevent peri-implantitis and keep your implants functioning well for decades to come is by practicing excellent dental hygiene. You already know the basics — brush your teeth for two minutes, twice daily, and floss your implants daily. Now that you have dental implants, you may want to invest in an inter-dental cleaner or water flosser to help you achieve a more thorough clean.
You should also make sure you avoid tobacco if you have dental implants. Smoking is one of the most common reasons of dental implant failure.
We will also schedule routine follow-up visits immediately after dental implant placement and after the treatment is complete to make sure they stay strong and functioning properly. Be sure to attend these preventive appointments to enjoy your healthy, complete smile for a lifetime to come!
About the Author
Dr. Michael Ryan is a prosthodontist and dental implant specialist serving patients of Ryan Dental Group. To learn more about dental implants or to discuss your candidacy for this comprehensive tooth replacement, you are invited to contact the office at 972-727-5001.