3 Signs of Dental Implant Failure

Team Dental Implants

Dental implants can help you restore how you smile, eat, and speak. These implants look and feel as close to your natural teeth as possible, making them an excellent choice for replacing a tooth. They also help keep your mouth and jaw healthy. 

In most cases, dental implants succeed and help patients meet their oral health goals. However, sometimes dental implants can fail. That’s why patients need to learn how often this happens, what risk factors make failure more likely, and how to know if your dental implants are failing.

How Often Do Dental Implants Fail? 

Research shows that between 5 and 10 percent of dental implants fail. Put another way, at least 90 percent of dental implants work. Understandably, many patients focus on the small percentage of dental implants that do not work as intended. 

Compared to most surgeries - dental or otherwise - dental implants have a high success rate. Without the implants, many patients suffer from poor dental health. When a tooth is missing, the surrounding jawbone can weaken. Furthermore, neighboring teeth can start to shift. 

With a low failure rate and high durability, dental implants remain the gold standard for replacing missing teeth. However, only you and your dental team can decide if the procedure is worth the risks.

What Causes Dental Implants to Fail?

Dental implants are more likely to succeed for some patients than others. If you have one of the following risk factors, you may be more likely to have dental implant failure:

  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Receiving radiation therapy in the head or neck
  • Undergoing postmenopausal estrogen therapy
  • Teeth grinding 
  • Weak or insufficient jawbone

Dental implants sometimes fail because of issues that occur after the surgery. For example, if a bacterial infection occurs in the surgery site, your mouth may struggle to adjust to the implant. 

You can help improve the chances of dental implant success by mitigating any risk factors. For example, quit smoking if you smoke. You should also be sure to follow your dental surgeon’s instructions and practice excellent oral hygiene. 

Common Signs of Dental Implant Failure

It’s normal to have some soreness after any dental surgery. However, severe pain is a sign that your dental implant could be failing, especially if the pain worsens when you chew. 

Other signs of dental implant failure include:

  • Throbbing pain long after the procedure was done
  • Receding gum around the implant
  • Swelling or bleeding around the implant (after the initial swelling had subsided)
  • The implant shifts or feels loose

If you have any worries that your dental implant is failing, see a dental surgeon as soon as possible. Your dentist can help with the discomfort and stop the damage from getting worse.

High-Quality Dental Implants in Albuquerque

It’s important to get your dental implants from a trusted, experienced oral surgeon. Drew Steel, DMD is trained and board-certified in the full spectrum of oral surgery, including dental implants. He and all of our staff believe in providing a high-quality, personalized oral surgery experience for each patient. 

Contact our office in Albuquerque, NM to set up your consultation today.