Though dental implants are the ideal treatment for replacing missing teeth, dental implant failure is an all too common occurrence. Sometimes a dentist can do everything right and the implant can fail. However, the majority of failures are the result of mistakes made by the dentist that could have been avoided.
Types of Dental Implant Failure
You can recognize a dental implant infection by redness or soreness in the surrounding tissue, a bad taste or smell coming from the implant site, or a loose fixture. There are several potential causes for infection:
- Bacteria entering the surgical site. This can happen during any surgical procedure and is not generally the result of any wrong doing on the part of the dentist. It can be treated by a round of antibiotics. Because of this risk, some surgeons will administer a round of antibiotics either before or after the surgery as a matter of routine.
- Using sub-standard fixtures. Because these fixtures do not have a precise fit, there is a possibility of gaps or loose screws that can invite bacteria.
- Placing an oversized crown. Some dentists try to save hundreds of dollars by using what is known as “one-size-fits-all” abutments. While it might not sound like too big of an issue to have a crown that is too large, the pressure on the tissue can lead to inflammation and infection.
There are a few things that can lead to a loose implant. Sometimes dentists, in trying to cut costs, will place implants when there isn’t enough bone structure in the jawbone. Sometimes, especially for denture wearers, the jawbone has shrunk so much that there is not enough to stabilize a dental implant. The proper thing to do in that situation is to build up the bone with bone grafting. Some dentists don’t know how to do bone grafting, or they may try to short-cut the procedure to present you a more attractive fee. We won’t do that in our office.
Other causes for a loose implant include using cheap fixtures, infection after surgery, or placing the implant under the load of the crown before enough healing time has passed, allowing for osseointegration.
There have been many cases of implants placed in body cavities where they had no business being placed, such as sinus or nose cavities. We’ve also known implants to have been placed where they are impinging on nerves. This causes numbness and discomfort. Hopefully, the damage isn’t permanent and simply re-doing the implant will solve the problem. These misplacements are avoidable by using 3D radiographic technology.
Dental implants are a great solution for missing teeth, when done by a qualified dentist. A general dental degree does not give the training necessary for such advanced procedures. You need a dentist with post-graduate training in implant techniques. Dr. Burba has had extensive training through 3i, and is more than qualified to give you a good outcome with your dental implants.