Everything You Need to Know About Dental Implant Failure and How to Prevent It

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A dental implant procedure is considered one of the best restorative procedures. They are designed to last 25- 35 years and with proper oral hygiene and care, they can last even longer.

They also provide excellent value for money and have a high success rate when done by experienced and skillful dentists. As per various studies, the average success rate of dental implants ranges between 90 and 95 percent for 15 years or more—the highest
compared to any similar dental procedure.

But some implant procedures, ranging between five and ten percent, fail. An implant failure can happen due to direct causes or indirect causes. The former include poor dental health and hygiene, infections, problems in the procedure, and allergy to the metal, while the latter can be due to underlying medical problems.

In this blog post, we discuss some common causes and signs of implant failure as well as how to prevent a failure and what to do in case the implant fails. Read on to know everything about implant failure.

Some common causes of implant failure

A dental implant can fail for many reasons. Early failures happen due to improper treatments or negligence, while late failures happen due to several other factors. Read on to know the reasons.

1. Problems in the procedure:

If the area had remaining infection or insufficient bone where there is lack of primary stability implant can fail. If implant is too close to the adjacent teeth then it will do more harm than good and it will cause the procedure to fail.

2. Nerve damage:

Nerve damage can result in numbness, pain, tingling in the affected area, or complete loss of sensation. In case of nerve damage, a patient needs to see an orofacial dentist, who is a specialist in pain disorders of the face, jaw, and mouth.

3. Dental infection:

Dental or periodontal infections such as peri-implantitis mucositis and peri-implantitis can also cause dental implant failure. The infections can impact the bone structure and destabilize the implant. One of the most common causes of dental infection is poor oral hygiene.

4. Underlying conditions:

Many underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis, certain autoimmune diseases, cancer, and poor oral health can cause the implant to fail. Smoking and drinking can affect the healing process and can worsen the already compromised immunity.

5. Teeth grinding:

Teeth grinding or bruxism can put excessive pressure on the implant and can cause it to become unstable and weak. Some people grind their teeth while asleep while some grind their teeth unconsciously. The best way to deal with the problem is by using a mouthguard.

6. Allergic reaction:

Some people may have allergic reactions to the titanium used in the implant. Common symptoms of the allergic reaction are facial swelling, eczema and redness, itching inside the mouth, and hives in the mouth and skin. If the titanium ions spread deep into adjacent tissues and bones, it can cause chronic pain, necrosis, and neurological problems.

7. Issues in the jawbone

If the upper and lower jaw bone doesn’t support the dental implant, then it can cause the procedure to fail. The jaw bone can deteriorate because of osteoporosis, gum diseases, tumors, fractures or trauma, and other underlying conditions.

Signs of dental implant failure

When a dental implant starts to fail, it will show several signs. By giving close attention to the implant and its surrounding area, one can detect the failure at an early stage.

1. The implant will start to loosen:

The very first sign of dental implant failure manifests when the crown starts to twist or move. When the false tooth embedded in the jaw bone begins to loosen, it means that something isn’t right with it.

2. Difficulty in speaking, chewing, or opening the mouth:

After the implant starts loosening, it can make it more difficult to speak and chew normally. The teeth will be misaligned and it will increase the problems.

3. Gum recession or inflammation:

If the gums around the implant start to bleed or become inflamed, it can indicate something wrong with the dental implant. If left untreated, the complications can become serious and lead to gum infections and gingivitis.

4. Facial swelling:

While some swelling in the face is normal for the first three days after the surgery, a prolonged puffiness can indicate peri-implantitis, which is an area-specific infectious disease that causes inflammation and bone loss around the implant. If the swelling lasts for more than 72 hours, consult your dentist.

4. Discomfort or pain:

A little discomfort and pain in the site adjacent to the implant are expected for a few days after the procedure. But if it persists longer than a week, then it may signal something’s wrong with the implant.

Tips to prevent dental implant failure

You can prevent dental implant failure by following these useful tips:

  • Brushing for two minutes twice daily
  • Flossing before going to sleep
  • Quitting smoking
  • Avoiding sugary and acidic foods and alcoholic drinks
  • Going for regular dental check-ups and cleaning
  • Going for follow-up appointments

Things to do if your implant fails

If you find any problem with the implant or feel that your implant is compromised, then immediately call your dentist or visit the clinic and follow their instruction. Here are three common treatments for a failed dental implant procedure.

  1. Replacement: If your dentist confirms that your implant is going to fail, then replacement of the dental implant is a good option.
  2. Bone grafting: If the adjacent bone to the weakened implant isn’t strong enough or doesn’t heal well, then the dentist may recommend bone grafting—a procedure that uses transplanted bone material to reinforce weak or diseased facial bones.
  3. Alternative dental treatments: If a dental implant isn’t suitable for a person, due to some bone conditions, allergic reactions to titanium, or underlying medical problems, then alternative treatments such as full dentures, partial dentures, and bridges can prove to be useful.

Taking everything into account

Although the failure rate is extremely low, dental implants fail due to many reasons ranging from a wrong procedure, inexperienced dentist, underlying medical conditions, nerve damage, and periodontal infections, among others. But the good news is, that there are many easy ways to prevent implant failure from happening in the first place. If the implants fail, timely identification and treatment can prevent serious complications and huge expenses.

If you are looking for a dental implant in Roswell, GA, then make sure to choose a reputable and trustworthy dental clinic. At TruCare Dentistry, we have a highly professional and expert team with years of experience in performing dental implants. Contact the clinic to know more about the treatment or to schedule an appointment.


1. How common is dental implant failure?

Dental implant failure is extremely rare, which is estimated in the range of five to ten percent. The failure rate also varies from dentist to dentist, which is less than two percent in the case of an experienced and skillful dentist and as high as fifteen percent in the
case of inexperienced dentist.

2. Can a failed dental implant be saved?

A failed dental implant can be saved only if the problems are identified on time and the treatment is started as early as possible.

3. Can you fix a failed implant?

A dentist can fix a failed implant if the issues are detected early on. They can start the necessary treatments immediately and save the implant from deteriorating further.