Dental Implant Problems

Dental implants enjoy a high success rate and evidence shows that vast numbers of patients are extremely satisfied with the results. They are viewed as an excellent solution to the problem of missing or damaged teeth.

As a result of this problems tend to be extremely rare although they do happen. Those that do are likely to be fractured implants, incorrect positioning, rejected implants and poor implant design.

Failure to osseointegrate is one such problem which can happen if there is not enough bone for the site of the implant or as a result of an infection. Another factor is that of smoking: if the patient is a heavy smoker then this will increase their risk of implant failure and developing periodontal gum disease.

Implants can fracture if they are subject to undue stress or overloading. This can also be caused by an inefficient or incorrect placement.

Fractured implants

If a patient presents with a fractured implant then this will need to be removed and then followed by a replacement implant. A trephine will remove this in much the same way an apple corer draws out the centre of an apple.

A new, wider implant can be inserted, in the same procedure and allowed time to heal. Once osseo-integration has taken place then
you will be ready for your replacement teeth.

Failure (or rejection)

There are a variety of factors which can cause this to happen, which include infection, overloading, bruxism and an inadequate bone supply.

Infections can also occur, often as a result of contamination of the implant by bacteria already hidden in the jawbone. Other infections include mucositis and peri-implantitis.

If osseointegration fails to take place or is ‘faulty’, then this can cause the implant to detach itself from the jawbone. If this happens to you then a new type of implant, extra bone grafting or a change in the type of restoration will be required.

Failure can happen early on or during the period following your implant treatment. Failures which happen early on are often due to poor treatment preparation, bone graft rejection or a bad implant choice. In the latter case, it is important that the right type of implant is chosen based upon your individual needs and requirements. Doing so will guarantee success.

Failures that happen later on can be attributed to occlusal factors such as changes in your ‘bite’ (the way your jaws come together), a tendency to teeth clenching or poor dental hygiene.

Incorrect positioning

If you have several implants then there could be a problem with their overall position and alignment. Any uneven pressure or overloading of the implants will cause one of them to break.


Other examples include fractured abutments, broken or loose implant screws and defective or broken restorations.

Splinting maxillary implants

We know that bruxism and teeth clenching can contribute to implant failure. If you are prone to this then your dentist may recommend a bar system to splint several implants together. This will evenly distribute any forces through all the implants and prevent overloading.

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