What is the Risk of Dental Implant Failure?

While the risk of dental implant failure is low, as with any surgery there is a small risk of it not being successful. The possibility of a dental implant failure can often be determined before the implant takes place, lessening the risk of it occurring after the surgery.

Failure soon after the implant could be due to overheating of the bone or poor bone quality, incorrect force applied during or after the implant or contamination of the implant or the implant site. These causes of dental implant failure can be reduced by using a qualified dentist who will assess the implant site correctly and follow proper, sterile procedures during surgery. Afterwards, it is up to the patient to follow all advice given on caring for their implants.

Care should be taken during the healing process to prevent dental implant failure caused by poor oral health. The dentist will instruct the patient on how to take care of an implant. Any unusual pain or swelling should be reported to the dentist immediately to ensure an infection will not occur.

Rejection of the implant or reaction to it is unlikely to be a cause of dental implant failure, since the materials used, generally titanium, have no known effects in the body and are bio-compatible (able to exist alongside living tissue without causing damage). The most likely cause of failure is if unrecognized bacteria already existed in the implant site when the implant was placed. Rejection can occur occasionally and is usually recognized by inflamed gums around the implant site.

The implant should be placed according to the biting forces of the individual’s mouth. Incorrect placement may cause the biting motion to place force on the implant which will  be disturbed. Care should be taken with chewing to prevent unnecessary force being applied to the implant. Teeth grinding can also cause a problem with an implant. If you grind your teeth, the dentist should be able to supply a guard to protect the implant.

Smoking may also be a factor in a dental implant failure. A smoker should discuss this with their dentist before beginning treatment.

Dental implant failure is rare – implants are reported to be around 93-95% effective. Even if a dental implant failure occurs, it is possible to place another implant on the same site, particularly if the cause of dental implant failure is recognized and can be avoided.

A consultation with your North Naples dentist Dr. Patricia Primero will tell you if dental implants can benefit you.

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