Dental implants are generally considered the Gold Standard of tooth replacement. No other dental technology approaches the efficiency and accuracy of an implanted tooth, or the benefits derived from it. The artificial root structure is second only to your natural teeth.
It is not unheard of implants enduring for 35 years. Hard and soft tissue stimulation created by the implant device preserves critical bone mass and sustains life in surrounding tissues.
Nonetheless ... implant failures do occur.
In healthier young bone tissue, dental implants have a higher predictability for success since compromised or deteriorated jawbone conditions probably don't exist, thereby eliminating the need for bone and tissue grafts. Periodontal disease also has a lower incidence with younger patients.
If you unfortunately suffered from a failed, broken, or an improperly placed implant, please schedule an appointment with us.
What are some reasons for implant failures?
- Early Implant Failures - Technique errors can cause implants to fail early. Overheating of the bone during site preparation can be a factor. Using too much force or not enough force (torque) at the time of insertion into the bone can be a factor also.
Contamination issues involving the implant itself and/or the implant site within the bone material will cause failure by interfering with the osseointegration process (bone material fully integrates the implant device with no rejection issues). Improperly placed temporaries, if used, may result in excessive forces upon the implant device thereby preventing normal osseointegration. Lastly, poor quality of bone is a common cause.
- Late Implant Failures - Implants that become wobbly, loose or fall out after a significant period of optimal function typically result from excessive forces on the implant ... which most commonly arises out of a shifting bite or changes in the vertical dimension (normal height of upper and lower jaws in the resting position).
Simple wear and tear issues on adjacent teeth can be the culprit as well as teeth clenching.
Lateral forces that tend to exert pressure in a way that pushes the tooth on a horizontal plane usually come from changes in adjacent and opposing tooth structures ... again a function of the occlusal relationship.
In some situations, determining the cause effect relationship can be an academic pursuit. In other cases it is almost imperative to understand the constellation of factors that can result in a failed implant.
An accurate diagnosis should be obtained as soon as an implant is suspected of failure.
A restored implant may be loose and wobbly. Or it may create pain symptoms due to a failure in the restoration itself which can involve abutments, thread devices within certain types of implants, broken threads or perhaps a loosening of the abutment materail (e.g., zirconium).
Repairs and replacements of restorations can usually be completed quickly, returning the implant tooth to the normal occlusal relationship that was designed into the original treatment. Extended delays in completing the restorative repair does pose some functional risk for adjacent tooth structures, depending on treatment history.