Dental implants have given people with tooth loss a new lease on life. Ashamed of missing or bad teeth, people who haven’t smiled in years are now proudly flashing their new pearly whites. On average, dental implants are successful when patients follow instructions and care for them as directed; however, there are times when implants do fail. Infection, tissue damage surrounding the implant, sinus problems, or allergic reactions can be factors.
Foreign body rejection doesn’t occur often, but it can happen. The body has rejected an implant. The signs of rejection are clear and present.
- increased pain at the implant site
- swelling, fever, and chills
- numbness or tingling in the tongue, lips, gums, or face
- severe pain and discomfort
- gum recession around the implant
- difficult chewing or biting
- shifting implants
- swollen gums
- sudden allergic reactions
- teeth grinding
The Problem with Implant Micro-Movement
Some dentists perform tooth replacement immediately after implantation. (Implants normally take several or more months to complete.) Since the tooth replacement is done before the implant has time to integrate with your jawbone, the implant may fail.
Can Anything be Done?
If you are experiencing signs of failure, it is important to notify your dentist immediately and get it fixed.
Some things can be done. If your implant is failing due to stress or damage, however, you will probably need a bone graft to secure the implant. Dental implants can only be placed where the bone is dense enough to support the implant. If bone damage or loss has caused the implant to fail, a graft of stronger bone will be needed to secure the implant. This is what is generally done:
- An implant can be removed. If the bone is intact around the location of the removed implant, no bone graft will be necessary. Any infection will be cleaned out and antibiotics prescribed. When the site is clear the implant may be redone. If there is bone loss, your dentist will recommend a bone graft to improve bone density before replacing the implant.
How You Can Prevent Implant Failure
As always, prevention is easier than dealing with a failed implant.
- Properly maintain your implants by keeping up good oral hygiene – brushing, flossing, and using an alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash twice a day – contributes to preventing infection.
- Add more foods like milk, eggs, and fish to your diet can help strengthen your bones and gums. These changes will help you avoid implant failure due to low bone density.
- Schedule regular visits to your dentist. Visiting your dentist is crucial to the health of your dental implant – and your entire mouth! It is best to visit your dentist every three to six months.
Implant failure is disturbing. You paid a lot of money for the work and now you fear it was all a waste. That is generally not true. Think Oral Implants and Periodontics has done hundreds of dental implants. If you are considering implants or experiencing implant failure, call us now for a free consultation. Think Oral Implants and Periodontics, office located at 250 W. Lancaster Ave., Suite 215, Paoli, PA 1930 (610) 550-3333.