The usual run of things is that, after a diagnosis from a professional, it’s found that a mouth has problems that need to be addressed with dental implants. This normally means that there’s some kind of irreversible tooth loss, and the only way to continue to speak and eat normally is with the addition of these implants to the mouth.
However, even with this solution, dental implant problems can occur. There’s no such thing as a “sure thing” in life, and while dental implants can solve some problems, that’s only if things work as intended. So why would dental implants fail? There can be a few reasons.
It’s Not Your Immune System
The first myth to get out of the way is that dental implant problems are caused by your body rejecting the implants. Titanium is one of the most common materials of choice for implants, and the specific reasons are durability and the fact that they are “hypoallergenic,” and do not provoke a response from the human immune system. They are also compatible with bone growth, which is why they are often used to repair compromised bones. This is why, under normal circumstances, dental implants, once set in bone, will have bone grow around them, further anchoring them.
When It Happens Early
Sometimes, right after surgery, it’s obvious that dental implant problems have set in and that the implants have refused to “take.” If it’s discovered that a patient has poor blood supply to the mouth, this can impact the ability to heal and for the implant to have the bone growth necessary for anchoring. Sometimes there may be existing infections that no one was previously aware of, such as a root canal from another procedure that is has become infected as well.
Sometimes ongoing health issues can be an issue. While it’s not always guaranteed to do so, a regular prescription of bisphosphonates, which is used to treat osteoporosis, can lead to early dental implant problems. Of course, the early stages are not the only times that these problems can occur.
When It Happens Later
Even after a successful implant, issues can occur later which may lead to an implant failure. Some dental implant problems may be a simple, unavoidable matter of conflicting treatments. For people that have to undergo radiation therapy in the mouth and/or neck area, for example, this tends to have a “scorched earth” effect that doesn’t just take care of malignant tissue, but healthy ones as well, including tissue keeping an implant in place.
Another instance where late failure can occur is if the patient him or herself has a bad oral habit; namely clenching and/or grinding teeth. The constant pressure, over a period of years, can take what is a secure anchor and gradually “pick at it,” until the implant is in danger of no longer remaining fast and stable in the mouth.
Fortunately, these issues are few and far between. Late stage dental implant failure, example, occurs in less than 5% of the people who undertake the procedure!
Posted in: dental implant information