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Causes of Dental Implant Failure

By markplatt on June 20, 2015


A grey-haired man smiling to reveal his natural-looking dental implant-supported denturesOf all the currently available methods of replacing missing or extensively damaged teeth, none can match dental implants in terms of their stability, strength, longevity, functionality, versatility, or aesthetic appeal. Truly, dental implants represent the next best thing to having a complete set of your own natural, perfectly healthy teeth. If you are missing one or more of your natural teeth, you owe it to yourself to at least explore the possibility of undergoing dental implant surgery.

Of course, like any other form of surgery, dental implant surgery is not without its risks and potential complications. One possible risk of dental implant surgery is implant failure. Although dental implant failure is extremely rare, especially when the surgery is performed by experienced oral surgeons such as those at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates, it can and occasionally does occur. Our surgeons discuss the possible causes of dental implant failure with patients during consultations at our Montgomery practice so that patients know the potential risks associated with implant dentistry. They also carefully screen patients to make sure that they are suitable candidates for dental implants, which helps to prevent implant failure from occurring.

Are you a good candidate for dental implants? Find out for yourself by visiting Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates at your earliest convenience.

The Most Common Causes of Implant Failure

First, it should be noted that the success rate of dental implants is extraordinarily high. Roughly 98 percent of our cases are completed successfully. Implant failure occurs in less than 2 percent of our cases. Nationally, implant failure occurs in only about 5 percent of all cases, so it really is fairly uncommon.

The most common causes of dental implant failure include:

  • Unsuccessful osseointegration: Osseointegration refers to the period during which the titanium implant posts fuse to the jawbone, essentially becoming part of the patient’s natural anatomy. Failed osseointegration generally occurs due to lack of adequate jawbone density. This is not something our patients have to worry about, as we use advanced technology to carefully prepare for implant placement. If there is not adequate jawbone density to support an implant, we will perform a bone grafting procedure to add bone mass.
  • Infection: This is the most common cause of implant failure at our practice and at most reputable practices. As a patient, you must be committed to practicing excellent oral hygiene after your dental implant surgery. If you fail to brush and floss properly, the periodontal tissues around your implant can become infected, resulting in the need to remove your implant. If you are a smoker, the risk of infection becomes incrementally higher.
  • Nerve damage: Again, this is never a cause of implant failure at our practice, as we plan carefully to avoid misplacing implants. Some inexperienced oral surgeons may place implants too close to nerves, however, resulting in pain or numbness and the need to remove the implant.
  • Implant rejection by the body: In the vast majority of cases, the human body does not recognize titanium as a foreign substance and therefore accepts the dental implant as readily as it would a natural tooth root. However, implant rejection is a remote possibility, as is an allergic reaction to titanium.

Learn More about Causes of Dental Implant Failure

To learn more about the possible causes of dental implant failure, please contact Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates today.

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