If you have missing or damaged teeth, dental implants can be the perfect solution. Their ability to integrate with the body’s jaw bone means natural, durable, and sturdy results. Though this procedure boasts a 90%–95% success rate, there are still possibilities for dental implant problems that could limit their effectiveness.
Early Dental Implant Problems
Though uncommon, dental implant failure can happen. Short-term failure can occur anytime between surgery and up to a year later.
Existing Medical Conditions
Certain diseases and conditions may contribute to dental implant failure, that’s why a medical assessment is needed before making the decision to move forward with the procedure. Conditions like gum disease, alcoholism, cancer, diabetes, smoking, medications, and other medical issues can affect how your body heals after this surgery. They can also limit the implants’ ability to fuse with your jaw bone. Fortunately, your prosthodontist will take into consideration these conditions to limit tooth implant complications. That’s why it’s important your dentist is aware of any current ailments you may have.
Dental implants are surgical procedures and require sterile protocols to be followed by the dentist. Since mouths are filled with bacteria, it’s important for patients and dentists to take care during and after the surgery. Following your dentist’s instructions while practicing oral hygiene will lower the risk of infection tremendously. If an infection does occur, treating it early can still result in a successful dental implant procedure.
Dental surgeons should know the osseointegration process, or how the dental implant integrates with the jaw bone, and perform proper techniques. If done correctly, healing should be simple and comfortable. If not done correctly, swelling infection, pain, and implant failure can occur.
Deficient Jaw Bone
Successful implants happen when there’s enough bone to grow around them. Lack of bone volume occurs if you’ve had a missing tooth for quite some time. If this is the case, your dentist will take steps to ensure the bone will grow with the implant. Otherwise, you’ll risk implant failure. Bone volume can be increased through bone grafts or manipulation. Sometimes this is a separate step while other times it can be done at the same time as the implant procedure.
Dental Implant Movement
Just like when you break a bone and have to wear a cast so the bone can heal properly in place, dental implants must remain immobile. If any movement occurs during the first 8-12 weeks, the implant will not integrate with the bone. Instead, soft tissue will grow around the implant, making it loose and painful. It takes 16-17 weeks for dental implants to fully heal as your bone undergoes remodeling and mineralization.
Not Following Post-Op Instructions
Your dentist will give you instructions on how to take care of yourself after the procedure. Avoid physical activity, keep your mouth clean, stay away from certain foods, and take medications as needed are the standard when it comes to dental implant recovery. Just because you’re feeling better a couple of days after surgery doesn’t mean you can go back to normal activities. Swelling, infection, and discomfort can happen when rushing recovery time.
Late Dental Implant Problems
Poor Implant Planning
The dental surgeon should know what type of teeth you’ll have, how many, and where they’ll be placed. That way, the implants can be inserted properly in the mouth and at the right angle. Without this planning, your dentist might find that the implants won’t work with the teeth being used. If the surgeon is separate from the dentist, clear communication is vital to make the procedure successful. After all, the type of teeth will determine what kind of surgery is needed.
Lack of Cleanliness
Dental implants are an investment, so it’s important to take care of them. While they’re not susceptible to the same decay and infections of natural teeth, they can still be lost if not maintained. Simple brushing, flossing, and regular checkups are a must. If a lot of plaque builds up around implants, gum inflammation and bone loss can occur.
Too Much Pressure
While dental implants feel secure and solid when integrated into the bone, too much stress on the implant can cause long-term problems. This is usually from improper sizing, wrong angling, or not enough implants. Periodontal pockets can form, creating extra space around the implant, giving bacteria a place to grow. This leads to infection, bone loss, and implant failure that can be felt as soon as five years after implantation.
Dental Implant Failure Solutions
Depending on the situation, there might be a few options if your implants fail.
- If lack of bone of gum tissue is the problem, bone grafting and gum drafts can help.
- Sometimes replacing the implant completely is a viable treatment while avoiding whatever made it fail to begin with. If the patient has advanced gum or bone disease and heavily smokes, replacing the implant might not be feasible.
- The implant might have to be removed completely without replacement to avoid further complications.
Not all of these dental implant problems fall on the dentist; patients also have a huge role to play in their success. Avoid dental implant complications by being honest with your doctor about any current conditions, following after-surgery instructions, and maintain healthy oral hygiene.
Even though the above complications seem scary, dental implants are truly the best way to replace teeth and regain your beautiful smile. At Mile High, you’ll receive the latest dental implant technology from top surgeons and prosthodontists.
Experiencing dental implant problems? Call us today, our team is ready to help!