Possible Causes of Dental Implant Failure: Symptoms and Prevention

Dr. Ash Sagar
the recovery period after getting dental implants

Dental implants are normally safe and effective procedures. However, as with other dental procedures, it may not always be efficient. A failed dental implant is an uncommon occurrence, but there is no need to panic if it occurs in your case. Continue reading to find out how to tell if your new dental implant requires additional checks.

A dental implant is a metal post surgically implanted into the jaw bone to support a tooth replacement or false tooth. The dentist or oral surgeon attaches a replacement tooth to the implant once it is inserted.

The dental implant procedure replaces tooth roots with metal screw-like posts and replaces broken or missing teeth with artificial teeth that resemble and function similarly to natural teeth. Dental implant surgery can be a welcome alternative to poor-fitting dentures or dental bridges, as well as an option when a lack of natural tooth roots prevents denture or bridgework tooth replacements.

Possible Causes of Dental Implant Failure

Implant survival is often used to define the success of dental implants. Implant failure is most likely the outcome of a complex process, such as surgical trauma, bone growth, low bone quantity or quality. Dental implant failure has a variety of causes, including risk factors to look out for.

Moreover, it is critical to discover a failing implant promptly to avoid persistent alveolar bone loss, which may affect the option of replacing the failed implant with a new one and affect the aesthetic result of the area.

Implant Misalignment

One of the most challenging areas of dental implant surgery is ensuring that the implant is completely surrounded by bone. The optimal position in the bone is not always the ideal position for the implant. 

As a result, the implant and bone may become misaligned. When the implant fails to align with the bone, the crowns or replacement tooth may appear unnatural, the gums may recede, and the implant may be visible around the gum.

Want to learn more? Read our detailed guide: What Are Dental Implants: Complete Guide

Inaccurate Impressions

The dentist takes impressions and sends them to a lab to make crowns. The artificial teeth may not fit correctly if the impressions are inaccurate. A slight mismatch can cause a gap between the crown and the gum, compromising the teeth’s appearance and function. This allows bacteria to enter the gums and cause infection. Infections can be managed, but implants may need to be replaced. Doubling the treatment’s cost.

An infection can also occur from the cement that attaches the new dental crown to the implant post if it spills onto the gums. That’s why the experience of the oral surgeon is essential. They must be able to work accurately under high magnification, reducing the risk of gaps or errors.

Implants Are Comfortable.

Dental implants are placed directly into your jawbone to resemble a tooth’s root and provide improved strength and support to the prosthetic. During the recovery period, your jawbone grows around the titanium rod in your jaw, firmly holding it in place. 

This extra stability makes implants feel just like natural teeth, to the point that you may forget they’re even there. Other tooth replacement methods can not replicate the sensation of tooth roots. Therefore, they do not feel as secure or natural as implants.


Peri-implantitis is a significant cause of dental implant failure. It’s unclear whether it’s a disease or a complication caused by a foreign body in the oral cavity. Inflammation might arise quickly after the surgery due to bacteria proliferation in the mouth.

Peri-implantitis can harm the gum and bone surrounding the implant, resulting in bone loss or implant failure. While the problem is treatable, the implant usually needs to be replaced. Diabetes patients, smokers, and individuals with poor dental hygiene are particularly susceptible to bacterial infection.

Nerve Damage

Nerve damage occurs when an implant is placed too close to the mouth’s nerves. This is more likely with inexperienced dentists that don’t utilise treatment planning. A treatment plan helps the dentist determine the best placement of the implant concerning the essential structures and nerves in the mouth.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Failure to practice proper care and oral hygiene after receiving dental implants may increase the chance of dental complications leading to treatment failure.

Failed Osseointegration

Osseointegration is the formation of a structural link between bone and a titanium implant. This process generally takes weeks to months.

The implant may not entirely integrate with the jawbone. This can loosen or even dislodge the implant. Insufficient bone to place the implant is the main cause.

Bone density and bone health are essential factors in dental implants. Before the operation, your implant dentist will assess your bone’s health. Lack of sufficient bone might be replaced by a bone graft or a sinus lift operation.

Failure of The Implant

The metal implant post can become loose despite being composed of strong metal. When the implant post weakens, the implant may fracture as a result of the movement.

Allergic Reaction

According to the Australian Dental Association, whenever something foreign is placed into your body, there is a possibility of adverse effects. Dental implants and other implant-related materials may produce a localised response. To ensure that the best materials are used for your treatment, you must inform your dentist about your health conditions or allergies.

Signs of Dental Implant Failure 

9 surprising benefits of dental implants

A study concluded that dental implants are now widely used and are likely to grow in popularity in the coming years. This means dental professionals will have to deal with more implant failures and complications. Each patient should receive a customised treatment plan when an implant fails and should be informed of all treatment options and give their consent to the most suitable treatment for them. 

If you experience early or late-stage dental implant failure, the following symptoms may indicate a complication:

At Narre Warren Dental Care, our priority is your safety. Contact us if you experience any signs or symptoms of dental implant failure.

How to Avoid or Minimize Implant Failure?

Practise Good Dental Hygiene Habits

 Another way to limit the risk of infection following dental implant therapy is to practice good oral hygiene routines. Bacteria cause infections and brushing and flossing remove bacteria from the teeth and gums or minimize the risk of plaque buildup.

You may not be able to brush directly over the wound area until the gums have healed, but we advise our patients to continue to brush and floss adjacent teeth. To clean the incision site without damaging any sutures, you can rinse your mouth with warm saltwater.

Avoid Smoking

Quitting smoking is another good way to prevent gum irritation and peri-implantitis. Smoking and the use of tobacco products have both been linked to an increased risk of periodontal disease. To extend the life of your dental implants, avoid using tobacco products before oral surgery or continue to avoid smoking and tobacco products for as long as possible.

Quitting might seem impossible. Nevertheless, we’d be pleased to talk about various ways that can help you quit smoking.

Change Your Diet Temporarily

Patients are encouraged to change their diet following dental implant therapy temporarily. Consuming hard or chewy foods can be painful, but it can also slow the healing process and damage incisions, all of which can lead to dental implant failure. 

Each patient will be given particular diet recommendations following dental implant treatment. Still, in general, patients should stick to a liquid diet for the first 24 hours after the procedure, followed by soft foods for the first week of healing.

Follow your dentist's aftercare instructions

Oral surgery places dental implants. Infection is a significant risk of any surgical surgery. The infection causes tissue inflammation, and the implant may not integrate with the jawbone.

We may be prescribed an oral antibiotic or an antibacterial rinse to reduce infection risk for our patients. To reduce the risk of infection and dental implant failure, patients must follow recommended medications and rinses exactly as directed.


Want to learn more? Read our detailed guide: Dental Implants Procedure: What You Need To Know

FAQ's About Dental Implants

How Do Peri-Implant Diseases Occur?

Peri-implant disease occurs when bacteria accumulates around the gum line and the base of the implant.

It can harm the gum and bone surrounding the implant, resulting in bone loss or implant failure. While the problem is treatable, the implant usually needs to be replaced. Diabetes patients, smokers, and individuals with poor dental hygiene are particularly susceptible to bacterial infection.

The Success Rate of Dental Implants 

Dental implant success rates vary depending on where the implants are placed in the jaw, but on average, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98 per cent. The lifespan of the dental implants may be extended (it could be a lifetime) with proper care.

In addition, according to studies, lower jaw implants have a five-year success rate of roughly 95 per cent, and upper jaw implants have a five-year success rate of approximately 90 per cent. Because the upper jaw is less dense than the lower jaw, the success rate for upper jaw implants is slightly lower. This makes implantation more challenging for the oral surgeon and may cause difficulty with osseointegration. 

Alternatives for implants

Alternatives may depend on your case. Your dentist will determine which option is the most suitable to treat the condition of your teeth and mouth. It is essential to discuss your preferences and medical conditions with the dentist. Other possible alternatives for dental implants are:

  • Full dentures. Dentures, also known as false teeth, are synthetic replacements for lost natural teeth. Some dentures are made to replace only a few missing teeth, while other types can substitute all of your teeth, gums and surrounding tissues.
  • Partial Denture. If you have a few healthy teeth left but have multiple missing and need to be replaced, you may need partial dentures. The teeth on a partial denture are bonded to a plastic frame that matches the colour of your gums, allowing the dentures to blend in with your remaining teeth.
  • Fixed dental bridge. Fixed bridges are not removable as opposed to complete or partial dentures. Your dentist will place the bridge in the space with a particular type of bonding material using the teeth beside it as support, and only your dentist will be able to remove it purposely. 

Who Performs Dental Implants?

Dental implant surgery is performed by dental specialists, including:

  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons: Oral surgeons are experts in implant placement. Oral surgeons are also trained to employ higher degrees of anaesthesia and know how to do so safely.
  • Periodontists focus on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. They have received advanced training in the insertion of dental implants and the treatment of gum inflammation.
  • Prosthodontists are dentists who focus on treating complex dental and facial issues. This includes the use of artificial devices to restore and replace missing or damaged teeth.

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