Avoiding the Top Causes of Dental Implant Failure

By Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky on January 29, 2020

A man breaking a cigarette in halfDental implants can provide a lifetime of improved dental function and aesthetics, helping those who suffer from one or more missing teeth to eat and smile with confidence.

Although dental implants are intended to be in place for a lifetime, it is possible to experience implant failure. By taking certain steps and precautions, you can minimize the risk of failure.

Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky provides these tips to help avoid the top causes of dental implant failure. For more information, please contact our Edmonton, AB, practice.

Why Do Dental Implants Sometimes Fail?

Although most people who receive dental implants have successful results, some people will experience dental implant failure. In order to understand why this is, it's helpful to know a little about dental implants.

Dental implants are screw-like, titanium posts that are surgically placed within the jawbone. The success of dental implant treatment largely depends on the bone growing around and bonding to the implant in a process called osseointegration.

Sometimes, osseointegration fails before recovery is complete; other times, dental implants may fail years after osseointegration occurs. Here are some of the most common causes for dental implant failure and ways to avoid them.

Peri-Implantitis

Both the gum tissue and bone tissue supporting a dental implant may develop a condition called peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis is a chronic infection that can lead to gum inflammation and bone loss. If bone is lost around an implant, this can cause the implant to become loose and fail.

The risk of peri-implantitis is increased with smoking, diabetes, and chemotherapy. Those who smoke should quit in order to reduce their risk of peri-implantitis and implant failure. For those with diabetes, keeping the disease under control and maintaining healthy blood glucose levels may help reduce the risk of implant failure.

Smoking

Smoking is one of the most common causes of dental implant failure. Smoking during recovery from dental implant surgery impacts the ability for the bone and gum tissues to properly heal. It also slows healing, which can further increase the risk of dental implant failure.

Additionally, smoking poses long-term risks to those with dental implants because it increases the risk of peri-implantitis.

Those who smoke can reduce their risk of dental implant failure by quitting smoking before surgery and committing to not starting again once recovered.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is another leading cause of dental implant failure. Protecting the health of the gums and any remaining natural teeth is essential for dental implant success.

Brushing and flossing regularly are effective ways to reduce bacteria on the gums and around the teeth, which can increase the risk of infection, including gum disease.

Poor General Health

Those who are in poor general health, especially those with suppressed immune systems, may not heal well following dental implant surgery. This can lead to an increased risk of dental implant failure.

If at all possible, taking steps to improve general health may help reduce the risk of dental implant failure.

Teeth Grinding or Clenching

Teeth grinding or clenching puts excessive stress on the teeth and dental implants. As a result, chronic teeth grinding or clenching can lead to dental implant failure.

Our Edmonton patients who suffer from teeth grinding or clenching are encouraged to seek treatment in order to protect their teeth and dental implants. Wearing a mouthguard is an effective way to prevent damage from teeth grinding and clenching.

Schedule a Consultation

If you live or around Edmonton and would like to learn more about dental implants, please call (780) 428-6846 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Podilsky.

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