Dental implants, typically a permanent and predictable procedure, can sometimes fail. Though the chances are less, dental implants failure can occur and present an unusual situation. However, there is no need to panic. A failed dental implant can be successfully replaced with another implant, which has a high success rate.
Why does a dental implant fail?
To understand why a dental implant fails, we need to have a closer look at the design and structure of the implant. A dental implant consists of three main components:
Titanium Implant: This is rooted in the bone that will become base for the other components.
Abutment: This is a connecting element which forms a bridge between the crown/bridge and the implant.
Crown: This is the functional crown that is attached to the dental implant and enhances the appearance and protects the implant from any damage.
In case any of the components come loose or develop a problem, then the dental implant may fail. Another issue that can cause an implant to fail is the slow-down of bone growth around the implant. While the implant is made of metal, it requires the growth of living bone cells where it is placed. This process is known as osseointegration. If osseointegration fails or does not occur properly, then it can cause a problem with the inserted implant.
Symptoms of a Failing Implant
The most common symptom indicating a failing implant is its mobility. The movement of a failing implant can be limited, to begin with, and can only be detected by a dentist. Other symptoms include swelling, infection, or pain. If your dentist notices implant movement, they will recommend an X-ray to study bone growth around the implant and come to a conclusion.
Dental Implant Replacement Procedure
The procedure can go on for a few days or extend to months, depending on the state of the area where the implant was placed. The process begins with the removal of the failed implant after the application of local anesthesia. Following this, the dentist cleans the affected area and inspects it to check whether enough bone is present to hold and support a replaced implant. If there is enough bone, the dentist will place another implant. If not, the dentist will place a bone graft to boost bone cell growth and improve the bone structure of the area. During the healing process, you may be advised to follow precautionary measures to avoid implant failure in the future.
Schedule an online appointment or call us at (408) 578-0240 to have a consultation with Dr. Martinez, and we'll be happy to guide you further.