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How to Recognize a Failed Dental Implant and Prevent It

August 8, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — houstondentist @ 8:55 pm
older man smiling with dental implants in Houston

If you’re missing any number of teeth, the best route for rebuilding your smile is to have dental implants in Houston placed. In addition to mimicking the natural stability of your tooth roots, fully restoring your functionality and providing a level of stability that is unmatched, the procedure has at least a 90% success rate. There is still a possibility of an implant failing, though. Your local dentist explains how to recognize the warning signs and gives tips for preventing this from happening!

Mobility

When an implant is placed, a natural fusion process (called osseointegration) occurs. This secures the implant to the jawbone to provide a lasting and durable structure. The fusion is made possible by the body recognizing the titanium, a material that most implants are constructed from.

Over time, the implant may unseat, which can leave it feeling wobbly and unstable when you chew or talk. This is typically a sign that either the osseointegration process wasn’t effectively completed or damage has occurred at the root level that has compromised the stability of your implant.

Pain

Following the initial healing period after your surgery (usually around 10 days), your dental implant shouldn’t be causing you discomfort. If you continue to experience pain, it could be a sign that the implant didn’t fuse properly. Other possible indicators of failed osseointegration are ongoing swelling and infection, resulting from oral bacteria seeping beneath the implant and impacting the gums.

Ways to Prevent Dental Implant Failure

While your dentist may be able to salvage your implant if there are problems, it’s much easier to prevent an issue than treat it later. Here are some tips for getting more mileage out of your implant:

  • Avoid tobacco usage – Smoking or chewing tobacco releases harmful toxins in your mouth that contribute to dry mouth and deprive the blood of nutrients that promote healthy gums.
  • Seek treatment for teeth grinding – Referred to as bruxism, teeth grinding places unusual stress on implants and can cause them to unseat. If you’ve noticed a tendency toward this, seek treatment from a dentist.
  • Perform excellent dental hygiene – It’s important to brush and floss at least two times a day. This will help to control the growth of oral bacteria and gum decay that could compromise your implant.

In addition to following the above tips, it’s important to maintain regular visits to your dentist for cleanings and examinations. By being proactive in this department, you’ll have a much better chance of preventing dental implant failure and protecting your smile!

About the Author

Dr. Holly Boone earned her dental degree from the University of Florida College of Dentistry. Following graduation, she completed a fast-paced honors clinical training residency that provided advanced tutelage in full mouth restoration. A Fellow in the International Dental Implant Association and member of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, Dr. Boone places dental implants to restore patients’ smiles and lives at Tamborello Dental Associates, and she can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through her website.

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