SIGNS OF A FAILED IMPLANTThere are several pointers to a dental implant failure, all linked to the fact that the implant is not firmly embedded in the jawbone:
- The implant will be loose. If it is supporting a single tooth, the movement will be obvious. If it is connected to part of a bridge, then you will probably not notice any movement at first, as it is being held in place by the rest of the bridge.
- The gum may shrink back from around the implant, exposing the metal surface of the implant itself.
- You may get some slight swelling of the gum over the implant, either a small bump or perhaps a more generalized puffy gum area.
- You may have some discomfort around the implant. Frequently there is no pain. Just a sense of discomfort.
WHY A DENTAL IMPLANT CAN FAILA dental implant may start to fail almost from the minute it is put in, OR ten years later! Here are a few situations that can occur;
- The implant was not fitted tightly enough into the jawbone. Sometimes the bone can be relatively soft, and when the dentist gently screws the implant into place, it just keeps turning without getting a firm grip. The dentist may refer to it as a "spinner", because it spins around and around without becoming tight. There is not much the dentist can do to improve things.
- A tightly fitted implant is a good start. However, during the healing phase, there are some other possible problems. As with any surgery, it is possible for infection to get in. Apart from causing some discomfort, any infection can prevent the bone cells from growing around the implant. It will not become "fused" to the bone. When the dentist inspects the implant after 3 to 4 months, he will find that it is slightly loose. It will wobble a bit.Leaving it any longer will not change anything; the implant should be removed, and either replaced by a slightly larger implant, or bone grafting added and allowed to heal for 6 months before trying again.
- Once you get your new crown or bridge fitted to the implant, you may think you're home and dry. If you get past the first 12 months, then the chances of dental implant failure are very less.