What you should know about dental implant complications and failure

Dental implants

Thousands of people suffer from tooth loss because of tooth decay, periodontal diseases, or injury. Previously, the only option for people with missing teeth was bridges and dentures. Fortunately now, dental implants are readily available. 

Dental implants are basically replacement tooth roots. They provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth that are created to match your natural teeth. But what is a dental implant? It is a metal post that’s attached to your jaw bone surgically to support the artificial tooth.

Dental implants are increasingly becoming a popular restorative treatment owing to many factors.

Here are some advantages of Dental Implants:

  • Natural look and comfortable feel
  • Improved speech
  • Durability and reliability
  • Enhanced ability to eat and chew
  • Improved facial and bone structure
  • Better Oral health 

However, dental implant procedures need to be carried out with caution. This is because there are several factors that impact the success of dental implant surgery. Some of these are:

        1. Overall gum health

Healthy gums are one of the required criteria for dental implant surgery and you can’t have the procedure if you are already suffering from any active gum disease. 

        2. Smoking

Smoking can lead to dental implant failure as smoking restricts blood flow to the gums, impacting the healing process. Many reports and studies have indicated that smokers have a dental implant failure rate of up to 20 percent.

However, this doesn’t mean you are ineligible for a dental implant procedure. Your chances of a successful implant are increased if you reduce smoking and also stop it one week prior to the dental implant. Additionally, you won’t be able to smoke for at least two months post the implant procedure.

      3. Loss of jaw bone

Your jaw bone needs to be strong enough to support the implant. In the absence of sufficient healthy bone, the surgeon cannot surgically place the implant into your jaw. One of the leading causes of bone loss in osteoporosis. The bone density decreases, bones become fragile and prone to fractures. Another cause is severe gum diseases that weaken the bones in the mouth. 

    4. Pre-existing conditions 

Certain pre-existing conditions can cause the implant to fail. These include autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and lifestyle disease like diabetes, that cause the body to heal at a slower pace.

When there is slow healing, it leads to osseointegration where the implant fuses or integrates with your jaw bone.

Some medicines also prevent the success of dental implants procedure. Be sure to discuss the medications that you are currently prescribed for, with your oral surgeon before the dental implant treatment.

   5. Poor oral hygiene

One needs to practice good oral hygiene at all times. But it is especially important post-dental-implant treatment. If you are physically unable to clean your teeth thoroughly and have no assistance to do so, you should reconsider the decision to undergo the tooth implant procedure.

   6. Expertise and experience of the oral surgeon

Last but not least, it is important to review and research your dental surgery before you confirm the procedure. 

An experienced surgeon will know how many implants should be used to support the tooth replacement just right. 

Using the services of a skilled surgeon can help you prevent iatrogenic trauma(that is an injury to the periodontal tissue caused by dental treatment).

Choose your dental surgeon wisely and preferably one who is backed by years of experience.

Early dental implant failure and problems

You may have heard about problems or complications arising from dental implant surgery. These can happen soon after the treatment or even years down the line. 

Early dental failure usually happens within the first three months of the treatment.

Typically, early dental implant failure occurs within the first couple of months after the procedure. 

Pain and swelling are bound to be there after the surgery but you do need to check with your doctor if the pain doesn’t reduce even after five to seven days. 

Here are some common early tooth implant problems:

  • Infection

An infection can occur during or after the surgery. If you have an auto-immune disease, smoking or poor oral hygiene, you are at risk.

  • Implant Micromovements

Micro movements of implants happen due to instability and sometimes immediately after tooth replacement.

  • Inadequate bone support

Early dental implant failure is also caused by insufficient bone support to an implant and if the surgeon completes the surgery ignoring this.

  • Allergic reaction

Some people are allergic to titanium alloy that is used in some implants. Signs of allergy include swelling, loss of taste, and tingling sensation. 

Late or long-term dental impact failure

Often, complications develop years after dental implant surgery. Here are some of them:

  • Nerve or tissue damage if the surgeon places the implant too close to a nerve. This can cause numbness or tingling sensation in the tongue, lips, gums, and face. 
  • Very rarely, the body rejects an implant. Symptoms include increased pain at the site, swelling, fever, and chills. 
  • Accidental protrusion into the sinus cavity by the dental implant can cause a lot of discomfort and pain. 
  • An injury to the site surrounding a dental implant may set it loose. This also causes dental implant failure.


A dental implant is an effective restorative surgery with many benefits. However, you need an expert and experienced dental surgeon to carry it out.  In some cases, there may be tooth implant problems so patients need to use their judgment before they go ahead with the procedure. Aftercare and good oral hygiene are essential to the success of dental implants problem. 


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