September 12, 2017
According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, approximately three million Americans have dental implants. If you count yourself among those numbers, then there are certain steps you and your dentist can take to ensure the longevity of your dental implants. Read on to learn more about why implants fail and what can be done to avoid this.
Why Do Dental Implants Fail?
For the most part, dental implants are quite successful—95 percent successful as a matter of fact. However, there is a risk of failure. One of the most frequent reasons for failure is a bacterial infection called peri-implantitis, which has the potential to weaken the link between an implant and the surrounding gum and bone tissue. If not treated, then a dental implant may need to be removed. Peri-implantitis is usually the result of poor oral hygiene after implantation.
Other reasons for dental implant failure include:
- Insufficient bone structure to support the implant
- A poorly fitting crown, bridge or denture
- Attaching the restoration too soon after implants have been placed
How is a Failed Dental Implant Treated?
Treatment depends on the reason for failure. In the case of peri-implantitis, damaged tissue is excised and the area is disinfected and cleaned. Caught early enough, peri-implantitis can be stopped.
In some cases, a bone graft may be needed. Once again, damaged tissue is removed so the tissue graft can be surgically positioned to stimulate new bone cell growth that will eventually be able to support the implant. If the implant is strong, but the restoration is damaged by unusual wear and tear, then that will need to be replaced with a new one.
How Can Implant Failure be Prevented?
First, make sure you see a trained and experienced implant specialist. Then, once your implant is in place take the time necessary to keep it and your mouth clean. Plaque can build up on a tooth restoration just as easily as on one of your natural teeth. Then, the bacteria in plaque can lead to peri-implantitis. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once a day.
Also, biannual dental checkups are essential. A dentist will not only check your natural teeth but your dental implants, too, so you can keep your complete and healthy smile for a lifetime!
Meet the Doctor
Dr. Hodong Kwon offers preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry to patients in and around Dallas. As a member of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, Dr. Kwon is certified to successfully restore smiles with dental implants.
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