Dental implants are the best option to replace missing teeth and restore a healthy, beautiful smile. But what happens when they don’t work as expected? At AZ Max, we understand that implant failure is a real concern for many patients. In this blog post, we will discuss common signs, causes, and prevention strategies for dental implant failure.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are titanium posts surgically placed into the jawbone. They act as a replacement for the root of a missing tooth and provide stability to an artificial tooth or bridge. Once the implant has healed, it is covered with a porcelain crown that looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth.

After the implant is in place, the jawbone gradually fuses to the implant, forming a strong bond that is meant to last for many years. However, this process can go wrong for various reasons, leading to implant failure.

Reasons for Implant Failure

Implant failure can happen for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes include:

Poor placement of the implant:  If the implant is not placed correctly, it can interfere with bone healing and cause instability.

Damage to neighboring teeth or tissues during implant surgery:  If the neighboring teeth or tissues are damaged during surgery, it can lead to inflammation and weaken the bond between the implant and the jawbone.

The body rejecting the implant due to an underlying medical condition:  Some medical conditions, such as diabetes and autoimmune diseases, can interfere with the body’s ability to accept and heal around a foreign object like an implant.

Damage caused by grinding or clenching:  Grinding and clenching can weaken the bond between the implant and the jawbone, leading to instability.

Insufficient bone support to hold the implant in place:   If there is not enough bone to support the implant, it can lead to a poor bond and eventual failure.

Signs of Implant Failure

If an implant is failing, you may experience some or all of the following symptoms:

• Pain and swelling around the implant site

• Difficulty chewing or speaking normally

• Loose-feeling implants

• Redness or inflammation around the implant site

• A foul-smelling discharge from the implant

• Visible gaps between the implant and surrounding teeth

Prevention Strategies To Reduce the Risk of Implant Failure

Preventive measures can help avoid or minimize the risk of dental implant failure. Here are some tips for keeping your implants healthy:

Practice good oral hygiene: Brush twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss daily to remove plaque buildup.

Quit using tobacco products: Smoking and chewing tobacco can reduce the success rate of dental implants.

Eat a balanced diet: A healthy diet helps keep your teeth and gums strong.

Use a nightguard: If you grind or clench your teeth, a nightguard can help protect your implants from damage.

Visit your dentist regularly:  Like your natural teeth, a dental implant needs to be cleaned every 4-6 months.  Maintaining a good relationship with your dentist and regular maintence of your implant will help keep your implant healthy for many years to come.

Visit AZ Max regularly: During the course of your implant therapy, keep all of your scheduled appointments. Skipping or missing appointments can compromise the health of your implant and lead to a compromised result.

You will be given post-surgical instructions after dental implant surgery. It is very important that you follow these instructions carefully. Following these instructions will ensure the success of your implants and reduce the risk of failure.

Here is an example of some of the post-surgical instructions:

  • Begin using salt water rinses the day after surgery. These rinses help eliminate bacteria in the mouth and should be used after every meal and before bedtime.
  • DO NOT smoke. Smoking increases the risk of implant failure and delays healing. Implants fail at a threefold greater rate in patients that smoke.
  • Take any medications as prescribed. You may be prescribed antibiotics after surgery. Complete the entire course of antibiotics, even if you feel better.
  • Avoid strenuous physical activity. It is normal to feel tired and weak after the procedure, so you should avoid strenuous activity until you feel stronger. Also, exercise can cause an increase in blood pressure that can cause throbbing and bleeding.

Our Surgical Methods

We use minimally invasive surgical techniques when possible, called flapless surgery, pinhole, and tunnel, which help increase the success rate of implant placement. This technique involves placing a tiny hole in the gums and then gently rotating the implant post into position.  This approach significantly reduces trauma to the gums, decreases post-operative pain and swelling, and helps speed up healing time.  When possible, we place the implant immediately after the failing tooth is extracted.   This shortens the time dramatically between tooth removal and receiving your definitive restoration.

We also use 3D imaging software to plan implant placements precisely. By utilizing this technology, we can accurately determine the best placement for your implant and reduce the risk of any complications.

Our team of surgeons has extensive experience in implant placement, so you can rest assured knowing that we will perform your surgery with the highest level of expertise. 

Experience the AZ Max Difference

Dental implants are an excellent solution for replacing missing teeth and restoring oral health. With proper care, they can last a lifetime. However, there is still a risk of implant failure if the implant is not placed correctly or if proper post-surgical care is not followed. Understanding the signs and causes of implant failure and how to prevent it is important.

At AZ Max Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, we take every precaution to ensure the success of your implants. Our team of experienced surgeons uses advanced technology and a minimally invasive approach to decrease the risk of failure.

If you are considering dental implants, contact us today to learn more about how we can help restore your oral health and give you the smile you deserve. If you are searching for dental implants near me and would like to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced surgeons, call (480) 830-5866 or complete the online booking form.