Dental implants usually work predictably and reliably, but like other procedures, they won’t always bring the desired results. If for some reason you have problems with your dental implant, an unusual scenario, you might be worried. Don’t be; there is probably a simple solution, and our Los Angeles clinic has the highest success rate in dental implant procedures in the industry. Come to us for a second opininon and we’ll check it out.
The structure of dental implants
First, let’s take a look at what implants are made of. Most of them are constructed similarly. They have an implant body made of titanium, an abutment, which is what the crown sits on and aligns with your other teeth, and the crown itself. If any one of these parts fails, the rest will loosen as well.
Although implants are metallic, it’s the bone growth around them that makes them work. You will continue to produce bone cells that eventually will surround the implant, stabilizing and anchoring it. This process is called osseointegration. If this process doesn’t proceed as it’s supposed to, however, it can cause problems down the line even if the implant procedure was carried out correctly.
Signs that a dental implant is failing
The first thing to look out for is an implant that moves. You might not notice it at all at first; you may need your dentist to point it out to you. However, you will feel it moving after a while when you talk or chew if osseointegration has not been occurring as it should. Eventually you might be able to move your implant with the slightest touch.
Some other signs of a failing dental implant include swelling and pain. Look out for infection in the worst cases. You may want to get an x-ray if your dentist sees your crown moving. They will be checking for the development of bone around the crown. When dental implants have failed, bone growth will be minimal or negative.
Causes of failing dental implants
Many things can cause an implant to fail, including gum disease and teeth grinding, also called bruxism. Osteoperosis and certain cancer treatments can also affect osseointegration. Smoking is another risk factor for bone growth around your teeth.
Fortunately, dental implants are easy to fix. If you need to replace an implant, your dentist will simply remove it while you are under anaesthesia and then clean around the area where it was. A bone graft is sometimes used in these cases, but it’s not always necessary. If a bone graft is used, it might be a few months before you can get a new implant. This is time during which your jaw will still be healing.
To avoid any complications, talk with your dentist before your treatment. If you are a smoker, let your dentist know. If you are undergoing radiation treatment, this is also something that your dentist will need to be aware of before implants can be safely placed. On top of all of this, your risk for failed implants will be reduced simply by taking good care of your teeth outside of the dentist’s office. Brush twice daily, floss often, and you should have fewer dental problems overall down the road.
If you’re worried that your implant is coming apart, call us at our Los Angeles office to examine it right away!