When they are properly placed by dentists and properly cared for by patients, dental implants can easily last 30 years or longer. Many patients are able to keep a dental implant for the rest of their lives.
But, in some cases, dental implants can fail prematurely. This can be due to improper placement, but it is usually caused by issues like autoimmune diseases, implant infections, poor oral health, smoking, or bruxism (teeth grinding). Wondering how to recognize a failing dental implant? In this article, At Life Dentistry, we want you to be aware of the signs of a failing implant and a few ways the issue can be resolved.
The top 5 signs of dental implant failure
It is typically quite easy to recognize issues with a dental implant. Here are the top signs that something may be wrong:
- Severe pain or discomfort around the implant – Any kind of pain around your implant site is atypical, and should be addressed by a doctor.
- Implant is loose or shifting – This may indicate that the surrounding bone and gum tissue is deteriorating, and can no longer hold the implant properly.
- Swelling or inflammation of the gums – This is a common sign of some kind of infection in the dental implant area.
- Gum recession near the implant site – If the gum begins to “pull back” from the dental implant, this is a sign that something is wrong.
- Difficulty chewing or biting – If your bite feels “off”, or you are having trouble chewing or biting with a dental implant, it could be failing.
Treating a failing dental implant – understanding your options
If you think your dental implant is infected or failing, you should schedule an appointment to see Dr. Martin right away. He can help with professional care and expertise.
If your implant is infected, deep cleaning of the gums and surrounding areas, as well as antibiotic rinses and medications, can be used to address infection in the implant site. If your implant has been damaged due to repetitive stress like teeth grinding, you may need a bone graft or another procedure to help repair the jaw and stabilize the implant.
In the worst cases, the implant may fail entirely and need to be removed. If this is the case, a partial denture or dental bridge is usually used to replace the implant.
Failing implant? see Dr. James Martin now!
Failure rates for dental implants are very low (under 5%). While it is rare, implant failures can happen, particularly among those who do not care for their teeth properly after undergoing treatment. If you think that your implant may be failing or infected, see a qualified dentist like Dr. Martin as soon as possible.
Dr. Martin can examine your implant and provide you with a customized treatment plan to save it if it is failing. Contact us now at (970) 289-5433 for an appointment, or come to our office at 110 Old Laramie Trail, Unit 100, Lafayette, CO 80026.