Dental implants have become the highest-quality and healthiest method of replacing damaged or lost teeth. When they are provided with the proper care, some dental implants will even last the remainder of your life.
Although dental implant failure is quite rare (with a success rate of over 95 percent), it can still occur. It is important to understand that dental implant failure is never the result of the body rejecting the implant—since your body does not create antibody-antigen type responses similar to organ transplants.
The following are the most common causes of dental implant failure:
- Failed osseointegration – Another way of saying that the implant is loose or fell out, osseointegration occurs over the course of several months after the implant is placed. Implant failure often results from failure of the jawbone to fuse properly fuse together with the implant. Osseointegration can happen due to incorrect positioning, overloading, insufficient bone density, damage to surrounding tissue, or a sudden impact/external force.
- Peri-implantitis – This is a type of infection which forms around the implant and inside the gums. This infection is often the result of poor dental hygiene following dental implant surgery., causing further bone loss and implant failure.
- Nerve and tissue damage – When an implant is placed too close to a nerve, patients may experience chronic pain, tingling, or numbness in their gums, tongue, cheek, chin, or lips. The nerve damage could be either temporary or permanent and the implant may need to be removed. In most cases, this issue is the result of an inexperienced dentist.
Although there are several different possibilities that can lead to implant failure, the signs remain the same. If you begin to experience severe pain or discomfort around your dental implants, if your gums are inflamed or swollen, or if your implant loosens, then your dental implants are failing.
If you have gotten dental implants recently, the best way to keep them healthy is to practice optimal oral hygiene. Brush and floss twice a day, use alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash, avoid hard candy and rough foods, and avoid smoking.
For more information about dental implants, contact our San Diego implant dentist to schedule an appointment today.