Dentists love to talk about dental implants when it comes to replacing missing teeth. Not only do they look natural and let you eat normally, but they also help prevent bone loss in your jaw! They may sound miraculous, but of course, like any medical procedure, implants can fail. It’s important to learn about potential complications that can occur with dental implants and how to recognize them.
What Can Cause a Dental Implant to Fail?
Implants are dental structures that are usually made of titanium and inserted into the bone. An individual implant is attached to an abutment that supports a crown, or artificial tooth. A natural process called osseointegration allows the structure to fuse into the jawbone, thus creating better stability.
While implants are typically a long-lasting solution when successful, they can fail in various ways. Osseointegration may not occur correctly due to inadequate blood supply, poor health, or an existing infection. Mechanical failure can eventually happen due to teeth grinding or a poorly-done procedure; a lack of gum tissue or bone support can also create problems. Other factors include gum disease and smoking.
What Are the Signs That an Implant Is Failing?
If an implant is movable, it’s the surest sign that it has failed to join with the jaw. It may not be noticeable at first, but over time it will feel wobbly, especially when moving your mouth. Your implant dentist can use an X-ray to examine the cause of a mobile implant; oftentimes, they’ll see significant bone loss around the area.
Other symptoms of implant failure include:
- Difficulty chewing
- Inflamed or receding gums
- Increased swelling
- Severe pain or discomfort
Note that not all of these symptoms will necessarily occur; that’s why it’s important to keep your regular appointments so that your dentist has an opportunity to make sure everything is normal.
How Can I Avoid Dental Implant Failure?
You can’t control every potential cause of implant failure, but maintaining good oral hygiene can be a big help. Continue brushing and flossing daily; don’t forget to thoroughly clean every side of the implant and crown. Antibacterial mouthwash can reduce your risk of infection, which is especially important during osseointegration. And of course, regular visits to your implant dentist are a must.
Dental implants are not for everybody. Make sure you understand the risk factors beforehand to determine whether you’re a good candidate. Take care of your implants and take note of any changes in your mouth. If you suspect an issue, don’t ignore it; call your dentist and make an appointment. Remember, dental implants are a lot like your normal teeth: good preventive care is key.
About the Author
At Pearl Dental Associates, a highly skilled team of dentists provides personalized and comfortable treatment for patients. They offer a variety of restorative treatment options; at the moment, they’re offering a deal to save over $1000 on comprehensive dental implant treatment. For an appointment, visit their website or call (781) 767-0979.