Dental implant replacements of one’s teeth have become one of the most predictable and successful procedures in all of modern dentistry. Implants have changed the way people think about dental treatment options and helped redefine available treatment options for many patients. Back in the day “cutting-edge technology” to save teeth included root amputations, hemi-sectioning of the teeth, tooth transplants, long-span dental bridges, etc., which have generally been abandoned for complete-tooth implants. Complete-tooth implants have proven to last a lot longer, and b be more cost-effective than any other previous form of treatment ever was.
However, it is worth noting that dental implants can still fail. The main reasons for dental implant failures include severe decay and periodontitis. These are the only reasons for tooth loss other than massive trauma to the tooth that forces it to be knocked out. Generally, periodontitis makes it so that the implant doesn’t have adequate support as bone structures are not adequate enough to hold the implant into place.
Peri-implantitis occurs when periodontitis is diagnosed much in the same way it would be with one’s own natural teeth. Patients must understand that they have to care for implants just like regular teeth. Dental implants last as long as the healthy teeth would if they are properly cared for. Brushing must continue 2-3x a day and flossing daily is also a must. Regular dental cleanings are also a must. The patient should still go to the dentist for cleanings at least 2x a year, and more if instructed to do so by their dentist. Hazardous materials such as ice that could break implants should not be chewed.
The most common reasons for dental implant failure include subgingival dental cement and traumatic occultation. Generally, only a handful of patients will experience failure of dental implants. Well-cared-for implants should rarely if ever pose a problem. Generally, only poorly-cared-for dental implants will have to be replaced or fixed again in the future. The most common reason for dental implant failure is periodontitis which allows massive chunks of “cemented” plaque to get under the gum line till it rots away at the bone holding the implants in. This generally happens within 1-3 years of onset of the periodontitis, and the implants become loosened as the bone is eaten away at. Treatment for this condition requires the dentist to fill the open cavities under the implants with dental cement to keep the implants tightened. Rarely does excess cement have to be removed after its inserted into the empty cavities underneath the gum line.
Other rare reasons for implant failure can include traumatic occlusion or occlusal overload. Occlusion should be checked for and monitored at every cleaning, and when replacing more than a quadrant or more of occlusion a night-guard should be prescribed for the patient to sleep is as part of their treatment plan.
Addressing the potential problems with patients before providing dental implants can help save these headaches in the future. Well-cared-for dental implants should rarely if ever have to be replaced, or have any of these issues to begin with. A few moments of explanation at the beginning can save a lot of headaches and complications in the future from patients needing retreatments.
If you have any questions regarding this article contact us or call 909-465-1016
The Ramona Dentistry Team
“Where Family Comes First”