Risk Factors That May Cause Dental Implant Failure After Treatment

Dental implants provide a permanent solution to tooth loss. Unlike other tooth replacement options such as dentures and bridges, implants are non-removable. Thus, once they are in place, you don't have to worry about removing them every day. However, implants can fail due to various factors. Thus, before embarking on the treatment, it's important to note and manage the following risks that may contribute to implant failure.

1. Fusion Failure

During dental implant treatment, the metal post is implanted deep into the jawbone. The bone then grows into the implant and fuses with it, a process known as osseointegration. This process occurs over a period of months after placing the implant. Sometimes, the fusion may fail, meaning the implant won't have adequate support. As a result, it may loosen and fall out. Various issues can cause osseointegration failure, and they include:

  • Inadequate bone grafting
  • Continued smoking after receiving implants
  • Rejection of the implant by the body

To ensure successful fusion between the implant and bone, your dentist should carefully evaluate your bone structure and overall health before commencing treatment. If you have suffered significant bone loss, the dentist should undertake bone grafting, a procedure that replaces bone loss in the jaw. To ensure proper osseointegration, avoid smoking as it causes the jawbone to lose its density.

2. Dental Infections

Proper oral health is vital in promoting dental implant success. While an implant is an artificial material, it is surrounded by gum tissue. Poor oral hygiene can encourage bacterial infections in the mouth. If these infections occur in the gum around the implant area, they can lead to gum disease and inflammation. Dental infections occurring before the complete fusion of the implant and bone can impede the process and cause implant failure. Even after proper fusion, gum disease and inflammation can affect the performance of the implant. Thus, practice good oral hygiene and get regular dental check-ups. 

3. Bite Pressure on Posterior Implant

Under normal conditions, bite pressure should be evenly distributed among the molars. However, there are cases when the pressure is exerted on one or a few teeth. If this overload occurs on your posterior implant, it can cause failure. Bite pressure on the implant usually occurs in people who clench the jaw or grind their teeth. This action wears the enamel of the back teeth, causing them to recede. As a result, the implant sits higher than the surrounding teeth. When you bite down, most of the pressure occurs on the implant, and this can cause misalignment and failure. If you habitually clench your jaw, seek treatment to protect your newly installed dental implant.

Proper oral hygiene and healthy dental habits will increase the success of your implants. Consult a dentist for implant treatment and restoration.