If you are missing teeth then tooth restoration is likely a necessary option to help prevent serious complications from arising. This can be accomplished with the help of dental implants. But what happens when it doesn't go as planned? Here, our Surrey dentists share some information about dental implants and what steps to take if yours fails.
Dental Implants: How do they work?
The first thing you should know about dental implants is that there are three main parts. These parts are:
- A titanium part that bonds with the bone during a process called osseointegration.
- The attachment is commonly referred to as an abutment.
- A crown fixed to the attachment, which aligns with your existing teeth.
If an issue arises with any single part of the dental implant then the entire implant will not work as needed.
The osseointegration process ensures that dental implants function properly. The body will then produce living bone cells to surround and anchor the implant to your jawbone. These bone cells develop into new bone growth which will envelop the implant.
However, osseointegration does not always occur as expected. This is one of the potential concerns with dental implants.
What are the signs that your dental implant may be failing?
Around the implant site, pain, swelling, and infection may occur if osseointegration has not occurred or has not progressed properly, or if the bone surrounding the implant has not developed properly. These may be the main symptoms but as the symptoms can vary you should always be watching for other possible signs.
Another common symptom that you may note is physical pain and swelling in the affected area.
Once an implant has been placed you should not feel movement at any point. If your dentist observes movement in your implant, he or she may recommend an X-ray to assess your bone growth. This will almost certainly enable us to determine whether there has been significant bone loss around the implant's metal component.
Are there any factors that contribute to implant failure?
While the majority of dental implant procedures are successful, there are some which end up failing. There are some factors which can increase the likelihood of implant failure. If any of the following pertain to you then you will need to consider a different option for your tooth replacement treatment.
- Ongoing cancer treatment
- Some medications
- Conditions such as gum disease or bruxism
- Diseases such as osteoporosis
What can you do if you think your dental implant is failing?
You should contact your dentist at the first sign of dental implant issues. Your dentist will be able to extract a failed implant while you are under local anesthesia. Unless there are no issues with the bone around the implant you may be in need of a bone grafting procedure.
If it is necessary to remove your implant then your dentist will likely perform diagnostics to determine the underlying cause behind the failed dental implant. If they discover that you have experienced bone loss, they may recommend that you have a bone graft to restore bone density before replacing the implant. The bone graft must heal before a new implant can be implanted. During this time, your dentist will educate you on ways to lower your risk of failure, such as postponing other dental treatments, quitting smoking, or taking other measures based on your health status and history.
How should you properly care for your dental implant?
You should be sure that you fully understand the dental implant procedure, including its risks, before agreeing to it. Speak with your dentist to learn about the dental implant process and how to care for your new tooth restoration. Always inform your dentist if your health or medical history changes, as these can affect osseointegration and healing.
By being vigilant with oral hygiene you can help decrease the risk of dental implant failure. While your new tooth adjusts, continue brushing twice daily and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash. Continue with a rigorous daily oral hygiene routine once the implant is fully healed.