For several years now, you have loved your replacement teeth. Implants have enabled you to eat basically anything you want, and you have taken full advantage. However, one day as you chew some ice, you feel your implant come loose. Unfortunately, it could be a sign of implant failure, in which case it may need to be removed. Occurring in only 5 percent of cases, how did this happen? What is removing a failed dental implant like? Does this mean you can’t get implants again in the future? Read on to find out!
Implant Failure Soon After Placement
The months following implant placement are essential. During this time, the jawbone is supposed to grow and fuse to the implant, giving it stability and strength. However, if the patient lacks sufficient bone density, has a gum infection, or is not in good overall health, this process (which is called osseointegration) may not be successful.
Because of the possibility, however remote, of these short-term failures, your implant dentist will likely take time before placing the implant to make sure you are a good candidate for the procedure. If something stands in the way, preliminary treatment like a bone graft or gum disease therapy can help you qualify and increase your odds of successful implants.
Implant Failure Long After Placement
Even if your implants are initially successful, they may still fail in the long term. For example, if you do not maintain proper oral hygiene, you could develop an infection called peri-implantitis, which weakens the supporting jawbone and causes the gum tissue to recede. Another complication may occur where the implant experiences too much force and becomes loose.
To avoid failure after the implant has become integrated with the jawbone, you will be strongly encouraged to take care of your dental implants through daily brushing and flossing. Regular checkups and professional cleanings are also necessary for the long-term success of dental implants. However, even with these precautions, failure can happen.
Removing a Failed Dental Implant
Regardless of the reason or timing of the failed implant, it cannot stay in the arch if it is not functioning properly. In most cases of short-term failure, removing the implant is relatively simple because the jawbone has not fused to the post yet. An implant that has failed years after placement may be more challenging to remove, depending on the jawbone density and the bond it has with the implant. In either case, you can expect the implant removal to feel similar to that of a tooth extraction, which typically involves some mild discomfort for a few days following the procedure.
Hope for Future Implants
After the failed implant has been removed, you may still have a chance to enjoy fully restored teeth down the road. Just keep in mind that, whether it is changes in your hygiene or another procedure, something needs to improve before attempting implant placement again.
Ultimately, you should try to prevent a failed dental implant. If one occurs, however, your dentist can help you regain your confidence and your strong smile!
About the Practice
At Pioneer Greens Dentistry, Dr. Chris Haag, Dr. Claire Haag, and Dr. Sean Pauley may have diverse backgrounds in dentistry, but they are united when it comes to improving patients’ smiles. With the use of a 3D cone beam scanner, they are able to properly assess implant candidacy and plan placement with precision for the best possible results. If implant removal is necessary, they can handle this procedure as well as others that can get patients back on track. If you think you could have a failing implant, you can schedule an appointment at Pioneer Greens through the website or by calling 402-483-7502.