Dental implants are quickly rising as one of the most popular tooth replacement options available today—for good reason. Dental implants look, feel, and function like natural teeth. They’re sturdy and reliable. They’re easy to maintain. And with proper care, they can last for decades.
Although most general dentists are trained to perform implant placement, their experience is typically limited to ideal cases in which everything is as it should be and no additional procedures are needed. Sometimes dental implant placement is a straightforward procedure, but it isn’t always. When bone grafts or ridge augmentation or sinus lifts are needed, or when there’s been trauma or severe bone loss, it’s best to have a specialized dental implant surgeon on the case.
Do dental implants fall out?
The short answer is yes, dental implants can fall out, but it’s extremely rare. Dental implants have a 95% success rate. On the other hand, while dental implant failure is rare, it does happen. Depending on the situation, implant failure may be the result of improper care and maintenance, an inexperienced dentist taking on a more complicated case than they’re prepared to handle, or another factor that keeps the implant from healing properly. Here are some of the reasons dental implants fail.
Some dentists use cheap materials because it saves money or allows them to charge lower prices. But cheap dental implants can end up costing more in the long run. If an implant fails and has to be redone, you’re paying twice for a single service. When you visit a dentist who is Board Certified in Dental Implant Surgery, chances are, they will be just as invested in the success of your implants as you are. They may charge more, but they’ll also be much more likely to use higher quality materials and get it right the first time. Always do your research before committing to any new medical or dental practitioner.
Improper implant placement
If a dentist places an implant in an area where there is not sufficient bone to support it, the implant may loosen and fall out. This is typically caused by shortcuts taken or outdated technology used during the treatment planning process. An up-to-date and experienced implant specialist will have access to advanced imaging technology that allows them to digitally map out where the implant will go prior to the surgery in order to ensure proper placement.
A damaged nerve can be the cause of implant failure. This is similar to improper implant placement in that the damaged nerve is often due to poor treatment planning on the part of an inexperienced dentist. A highly experienced implant surgeon takes the time to consider every structure, every tissue, every bone, every nerve, and anything else that may be affected by the implant placement. The treatment plan is then created to strategically place the implant where it will restore the patient’s smile without causing damage. A damaged nerve is often the sign of a rushed implant procedure.
Improper fit of the implant
Precision is everything when it comes to restoration dentistry, and dental implants are no different. When dental impressions are not meticulously taken, even the smallest mistake can leave a gap that results in a poor fit and a failed bond between the bone and the implant. A Board Certified Dental Implant Surgeon is highly skilled and trained in every aspect of implant surgery, including meticulous dental impressions for dental implants that fit with precision.
An inexperienced dentist is not always responsible for implant failure. Proper hygiene is one of the key factors of a successful implant. Once they’ve healed and fused to the bone, dental implants don’t require care that’s any different from how you take care of your natural teeth. But they cannot be left alone. Peri-implantitis, which is a site-specific infectious disease that affects implants, can cause an implant to fall out. Insufficient dental care allows bacteria and food particles to accumulate around the implant and gum lines, causing inflammation in the soft tissue surrounding the implant, eventually resulting in bone loss and the loosening of the implant.
The process by which the bone and the implant fuse together is called osseointegration. It takes around 3-6 months before the bone and implant are sufficiently fused together to create a sturdy foundation for your prosthetic teeth to function like natural teeth. Smoking interferes with that process in several different ways. The smoke burns the oral tissue, harming the gums and bone that support the implants. The nicotine slows the healing process, restricting the flow of oxygen and blood to your oral tissue. The tobacco and nicotine prevent the bone from fusing with the implant. It is recommended that you quit smoking two weeks prior to your implant surgery and wait until three months after your surgery before smoking again.
The good news is that by doing your part to maintain proper oral hygiene and refrain from smoking, and by choosing a Board Certified Dental Implant Surgeon who is as committed to your implants as you are, you’re practically guaranteed a successful outcome!
If you have had a dental implant fall out or if you have an implant that feels loose, give us a call right away so we can get you back to optimal oral health as soon as possible.
Board Certified Dental Implant Surgeon in San Diego | Dr. Kennie Kwok
Whether you’re missing one tooth, several teeth, or a full mouth of teeth, it’s important to get them replaced as soon as possible. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that prevents jawbone deterioration and helps preserve your face shape and structure. At San Diego Periodontology and Implant Dentistry, you’re in the hands of Dr. Kennie Kwok, a highly skilled and dedicated dental implant surgeon who offers top-tier dental services using state-of-the-art dental technology in an office designed for patient comfort.
For more information on our services or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kwok, give us a call at (619) 543-0905 today.