Dental implants are a tooth replacement solution that is meant to last a lifetime. And they should, if properly installed and maintained. Some dental implants fail shortly after installation; others after prolonged use.
In the rare occasion that they fail, they may need to be replaced. Here are a few of such occasions.
This is an infection of the gums. It can result in bone loss and cause implants to fail. This condition is caused by poor oral hygiene following the installation of the implant.
This is a condition where the implant fails to integrate with the jawbone. This will most likely happen if you have low bone density. The solution is to remove the implant and perform a bone graft to increase bone density. It is only then that a new implant can be fixed.
Stress and Pressure
Stress and undue pressure on the implant can cause implant failure. Unless controlled, habits such as bruxism -- that is, the grinding of teeth -- can damage implants.
Underlying Medical Conditions
Chronic illnesses, such as cancer and osteoporosis, and autoimmune disorders, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, can make dental implants fail. Some medications used in the treatment of osteoporosis are also not compatible with dental implants.
When surgery is not conducted properly or is done by an unqualified person, implant failure may occur. This is often the case when the tooth is attached to the implant before the implant has completely integrated with the jawbone.
If the implant comes off and there is no damage to the jawbone, the dental surgeon can replace it immediately. If there is a moderate amount of bone loss, the surgeon will deal with the root cause of the failure. After healing, they may wait another six months before installing a new implant.
If the bone loss is severe, the dentist will have to perform a bone graft before replacing the failed implant.
Please note that dental implants are highly successful. To reduce chances of implant failure and replacement, choose a competent dental surgeon who is familiar with implants to begin with. Next, ensure you fully disclose to them your medical history. Once the procedure has been undertaken, maintain good oral hygiene. Get comprehensive dental exams from a provider like Bewick Keary DDS on a regular basis to help you identify any problems with your implant or the surrounding teeth. The earlier you catch a problem, the better.