When you lose a tooth or require a tooth extraction, it is imperative to seek tooth replacement sooner rather than later. Dental implants are widely considered the gold standard for tooth replacement, offering a proven way to restore the function and aesthetics of your smile. One reason for the popularity of dental implants is that they boast an impressive long-term success rate of over 95 percent. In fact, with the right level of oral hygiene, most dental implants last a lifetime.
With that said, implant failure is possible. When it happens, we recommend seeing a periodontist as quickly as possible as failing implants can often be saved. And when they are beyond salvaging, they can be replaced.
Why Do Dental Implants Fail?
Some of the most common causes of implant failure include:
- The implant was improperly positioned, misaligned with the bone
- The implant never properly fused with the surrounding bone tissue
- Peri-implantitis, a kind of infection that affects dental implants
- Failure or fracture of the implant itself, causing it to come loose in your mouth
No matter the cause of implant failure, there are treatments available to repair or replace it.
What are the Signs of Dental Implant Failure?
Normally, dental implants are supposed to feel snug, secure, and natural. Ideally, once the healing process is complete, you will forget that you even have dental implants.
If you do experience dental implant failure, you will typically know it. The symptoms are overt and can include:
- Significant pain and discomfort
- Gum inflammation and swelling near the implant site
- Looseness or movement of the implant
If you experience any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with a periodontist as soon as you can.
How Do We Save Dental Implants?
At Burbank Periodontics, our approach to dental implant treatment depends on whether the implant is still stable.
When the implant remains stable, we can usually repair it without removing or replacing it. Often, this is done via laser therapy. We are proud to offer laser protocols specifically for saving dental implants, eradicating any dangerous bacteria, and clearing up underlying infections. Laser therapy can even help restore healthy tissues to support the implant.
If the implant is loose or unstable, the best approach may be to remove it, often with concurrent bone grafting to regain lost bony architecture. Subsequently, a new implant may be placed after a few months of healing.
How Can I Avoid Implant Failure?
The single best way to facilitate long-term implant success is to follow all your aftercare instructions, as well as periodic professional cleanings, with the regimen recommended by your periodontist. Be diligent in your recovery and always clarify with your doctor if you have any questions.
Once your implants have healed in place, the most important thing you can do is brush and floss as directed by your doctor. Be sure to also stay up to date with regular dental appointments. And if you do notice any early signs of gum disease or implant failure, see your periodontist right away.
Schedule a Dental Implant Treatment in Burbank, CA
Dental implant failure is uncommon, but when it does happen, there are treatments available.
If you believe your implant may be failing, schedule a consultation with one of our doctors at Burbank Periodontics by contacting us at (818) 842-6162.