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What Happens if my Dental Implant Doesn't Work Properly?

What Happens if my Dental Implant Doesn't Work Properly?

While dental implant procedures are typically successful and failure rates for these procedures are uncommon, they do occur. No need to panic if your implant fails — our South Granville dentists are here to help you identify warning signs and determine the next steps if your implant fails.

How does my dental implant work?

Most conventional dental implants have three components: 

  1. A titanium part that bonds with the bone during a process called osseointegration
  2. An attachment (abutment) 
  3. A crown fixed to the attachment, which aligns with your existing teeth

Issues with any of these parts can become a problem if one of the components is broken or becomes loose.

The osseointegration process ensures the proper function of dental implants. The body will then produce living bone cells to surround the implant and anchor it to your jawbone. Around the implant, healthy bone grows.

However, sometimes osseointegration doesn't happen the way it should. Occasionally, this can lead to issues after implantation.  

What are signs that my dental implant may be failing?

Pain, swelling, and infection can occur around the implant site if osseointegration has not occurred or progressed properly, or if the bone surrounding the implant has not developed properly. This does not, however, occur in all cases.

When a patient chews or speaks, an implant may wobble or move slightly (it's possible that your dentist will be the first to notice this movement).

Dental implants should not move and should stay in place. If your dentist notices movement in your implant, an X-ray may be recommended to evaluate your bone growth. This will most likely allow us to determine if there has been significant bone loss around the metal component of the implant.

What is the risk of my dental implant failing? 

While most dental implant procedures are successful, some patients are at a higher risk of implant failure. If you have any of these risk factors, your dentist may advise you to consider another tooth replacement option.

  • Ongoing cancer treatment
  • Some medications
  • Smoking
  • Conditions such as gum disease or bruxism (can damage a healing implant) 
  • Diseases such as osteoporosis, which can impact bone density and strength 

What should I do if I notice an issue with my dental implant?

If you notice a problem with your dental implant, contact your dentist to schedule an examination. While you are under local anesthesia, your dentist will be able to remove a failed implant. If the bone surrounding the implant being removed is in good condition, no bone graft will be necessary.

If your dentist notices bone loss, he or she may recommend a bone graft to strengthen the area before replacing the failed implant. Before a new implant can be placed, the bone graft must heal. During this time, your dentist will educate you on ways to reduce your risk of failures, such as deferring other dental treatments, quitting smoking, or taking other measures based on your health status and history.

How can I reduce the risk of complications with my dental implant?

You'll be asked about potential risks before your implant is placed. Always inform your dentist of any changes in your health or medical history, as these can affect osseointegration and healing.

Good oral hygiene is also important to avoid dental implant issues. While your new tooth settles, remember to brush twice daily and rinse with antibacterial mouthwash.

Do you have questions or concerns about dental implants? Contact South Granville Dentistry today to schedule a consultation with our dentists.

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We are always happy to accept new patients to our dental clinic! With a comprehensive range of dental services, South Granville Dentistry can help you maintain and protect your oral health. Get in touch with us today to book an appointment.

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