What Happens When Removing a Failed Dental Implant?

a failed dental implant

Realizing that you have a failed dental implant is never good news. No matter the reason for it being unsuccessful (i.e., peri-implantitis, failed osseointegration, poor oral health and hygiene, etc.), knowing that your new tooth must now be removed can be disheartening. It can also leave you with many questions about the procedure and recovery process. Keep reading to find out what you can expect when preparing to have your dental implant removed so that you maintain better oral health.

How to Know if a Dental Implant Has Failed

Although it may not be obvious to you whether one or more of your dental implants have failed, certain signs indicate a serious problem, such as:

  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Gum inflammation
  • Gum recession
  • Bleeding and/or swelling around the implant
  • Pain or discomfort

For many patients, it is often surprising when a dental implant fails; however, some of the most common reasons it can happen include infection, lack of jawbone density, nerve damage, facial trauma, unhealthy lifestyle habits (smoking), and even improper initial placement.

What is the Process of Removing a Failed Dental Implant?

Before the dental implant can be removed, it is important that a dentist evaluates the cause of failure and formulate a plan to treat the underlying problem. This could be gum disease treatment, bone grafting, sinus augmentation, or other forms of surgery.

Naturally, a dentist will want to preserve as much of the bone as possible, as this is essential to the success of any future dental implant. To remove it, they will need to use specialized instruments to carefully extract it from the socket but also avoid damaging the bone.

Depending on how the implant is positioned and secured, it can be removed in one of two ways. A dentist can use a tool that eliminates a small portion of bone so that the implant can be easily taken out. It’s also possible that a device known to provide high torque can be used to separate the implant from the bone so that it takes only a few minutes to complete.

There are some cases in which a dentist may be able to save the dental implant with a bone grafting procedure as well. The only way to know how to approach a failed dental implant is to evaluate it and determine if removal and healing are necessary.

Dental implants have a high success rate of 95% even 10 years after initial placement. However, should you discover that one of your new teeth has failed, don’t wait to seek help. Address the problem as soon as possible so that your smile can be treated and restored for better lifelong oral healthcare.

About the Author
Dr. Breanne Anderson is a prosthodontist in Bonita Springs who is a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics as well as a Fellow of the American College of Prosthodontists. Certified in dental implant placement, she leads the team at Smile Rejuvenations of Southwest Florida and works alongside patients who are suffering from tooth loss. When an individual experiences a failed dental implant, though, she can help to save one’s smile using safe and effective techniques and solutions that restore oral health and lead to successful results. Visit the website or call (239) 688-3708 if you or a loved one would like to learn more.