Dental implants are a highly effective solution for lost teeth. Crowns mimic natural teeth in their form and function and titanium posts bond with and stimulate your jaw bone, allowing the implants to act just like a natural tooth would.
Unfortunately, implants can occasionally fail, and if this happens we will need you to come in so we can repair or replace them.
The Structure of an Implant
Most dental implants are made of a titanium post that is embedded in the jaw bone, a ceramic crown that acts as a replacement tooth and an abutment that connects the post and the crown. If one of these parts loosens or breaks, all three can become compromised.
Titanium is usually chosen for implants because it bonds with the jaw bone in a process known as osseointegration. If this process doesn't occur properly then you'll end up with an implant that isn't firmly in place. This will lead to problems later on.
Signs that an Implant May Fail
If the bone doesn't grow around the implant in the right way, mobility is often the primary signal that the implant may fail. This mobility is often very slight at first and usually only a dentist can see it, but as time goes on an implant that hasn't integrated properly can shift when you chew or speak. Implants that have failed completely with frequently.
Other warnings signs of impending failure include pain, inflammation, and infection, but these do not always occur. If Dr. Eshraghi notices that your implant is moving, he may conduct an x-ray to make sure the bone is growing. If the implant is failing, the x-ray may reveal considerable bone loss around the metal area.
Repair and Replacement
In cases where the implant crown becomes cracked or detached, it is an easy matter for us to attach a new, or make any other repairs if necessary. However, if the damage to the implant is too severe, we will need to remove and replace it.
It is easy for us to remove a failed dental implant, but we will need to use a local anesthetic for this procedure. Once the implant is removed Dr. Eshraghi will carefully clean the area. Then we can begin the process of inserting a new implant, making careful note of what went wrong the first time. If there is enough healthy bone in the same area, we won't need a bone graft.
However, in cases of significant bone loss, we may need to place a bone graft to improve the site of the removed implant before placing a new one. Once the bone graft is complete, your mouth may need several months to heal before we can put in a new implant. During the healing period, Dr. Eshraghi may ask you to quit smoking, postpone cancer treatment or make other lifestyle adjustments that will reduce the risk of the next implant failing as well.
Always remember to take good care of your implants by brushing and flossing daily. Also take care to eat a balanced diet and abstain from using your teeth as tools, as this can chip them. If you experience any problems with your implants, contact us right away.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please give us a call at (971) 317-8414.