Can a Failed Dental Implant Be Repaired, or Will it Need to Be Replaced?

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Dental implants are widely considered to be standard-of-care for addressing tooth loss. One reason for the popularity of dental implants is their longevity. Scientific research shows that dental implants have a long-term success rate of 95 percent. For most patients, daily brushing and flossing may result in implants that last a lifetime.

With that said, there are those rare cases where implants fail. And when that happens, patients naturally want to know whether they need to have the implant replaced altogether, or whether repair is possible.

What Are the Types of Dental Implant Failure?

The first type of dental implant failure is known as short-term implant failure, and it typically happens within three or four months of placement. Short-term failure is often caused by improper implant placement, incomplete healing, or lack of adequate bone tissue.

Long-term implant failure happens a year or more after the implant is placed. Most of the time, long-term failure stems from dental neglect or a traumatic accident.

What Are the Possible Treatments for Failed Implants?

When a dental implant is broken or chipped in a traumatic accident, it may be possible to have it repaired by a cosmetic dentist, without the need for the entire implant to be replaced. Non-surgical treatment may also be available in cases of implant infection and decay. If the implant has become infected due to dental neglect, laser therapy may be used to eradicate the harmful bacteria and regenerate any lost tissue.

In other cases, it may be necessary to replace the implant altogether. This is particularly true when the implant is placed improperly the first time, when it fails to heal properly, or when it becomes clear that there is inadequate bone tissue to anchor the implant in place. In these situations, an oral surgeon may decide it is best to simply remove the implant and place a new one, often with a bone graft performed to hold the implant steady.

What Are the Signs of Implant Failure?

Dental implant patients should be on the lookout for some of the most common signs of implant failure. These include:

  • Severe pain around the implants
  • Gum recession around the implant
  • Discomfort while chewing or biting
  • Shifting or loose implants

While dental implant failure is unlikely, it can certainly happen. The good news is that there are treatments available to restore your implant and provide you with a healthy, confident smile.

Find Out More

To find out more about dental implant treatments, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with The OMS Center of South Louisiana.