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why dental implants fail

Why Do Some Dental Implants Fail?

Getting a dental implant is a popular way to replace a lost or damaged tooth. It feels incredibly natural and looks no different from a natural tooth to the naked eye. In fact, because they fully integrate with your jawbone and become part of your body, they are the most secure feeling tooth replacement you can get. If you treat them just like your original tooth, you will often forget that they are synthetic!

When the procedure is done correctly by an experienced dentist (like those at our practice), the success rate is a high 98%. However, you may be interested in learning about what causes the rare dental implant failure. What happens in the other 2% of cases when things don’t go as planned? Here are the main reasons why some dental implants fail.

  • Patient negligence/ Poor dental hygiene
  • Osseointegration failure
  • Sinus problems
  • Allergies to metal
  • Foreign body rejection

Patient Negligence/Poor Dental Hygiene

Dental implants must be cared for just like regular teeth. When a patient is negligent in self-care, plaque and infections can develop on and around the dental implant. One common infection is peri-implantitis, which is an inflammation around the titanium post that causes the gums around the implant to become infected.

This kind of gum disease can cause bone loss and feel painful. When caught early, it can be reversed, but if left untreated, it can lead to dental implant failure. The best way to prevent this from happening is to be on top with your oral care regimen daily.


Osseointegration is the process in which the implant fuses with your jawbone. The rate at which the implant fully integrates with your bone depends on your age and other health factors. Sometimes osseointegration can fail. Here are the main reasons why:

  • Lack of bone density
  • A poorly positioned implant
  • Tissue damage around the implant
  • Overloading: When the crown and abutment are placed all at once instead of with the recommended two-step process
  • Trauma to the implant site
  • Fractured implants

Any of these situations can trigger a dental implant failure. One sure way to avoid several of these causes is to choose an experienced dentist who can conduct the procedure properly and in the right steps. You can also watch our latest dental video on why some dental implants fail. We discuss the topic of osseointegration.

Sinus Problems

Sometimes a poorly placed implant interferes with the patient’s sinus cavity. As a result, the area can get infected and cause the patient great discomfort. To avoid this kind of failure, select a dentist who knows how to do a proper sinus graft.

Allergies to Metal

Very rarely, patients may have an allergy to metals like titanium and nickel which make up the majority of dental implants. If you’re not sure if you have this kind of allergy, you should get tested before getting an implant made out of these metals. As a result, you’ll avoid any inflammation that can result after the procedure. However, there are still options if you find that you have a titanium/nickel allergy. Zirconia is also a high-quality metal used in dental implants that can last for years.

Foreign Body Rejection

Sometimes your body doesn’t recognize the implant and can reject it. This phenomenon is also known to also happen in organ transplants and other minor surgical interventions like tear duct plugs. You’ll know if your body is rejecting an implant if it feels loose, as your body is literally pushing it out. As soon as you notice this issue, you should contact your dentist right away so that the situation can be rectified.

Get Dental Implants in Los Angeles

Dental implants are a big investment. You want to make sure that they do not fail as this can affect your budget, as well as your recovery time. We created a similar blog post about the cost breakdown for dental implants. Though there can be many reasons why a dental implant can fail, you only have a 2% risk if you choose a good dentist.

If you’re interested in getting dental implants, you should schedule a free consultation at our practice. We’ll be able to assess your situation and see if you’re a good candidate for the procedure. Give us a call anytime to set an appointment so we can show you all your options for replacing a missing or faulty tooth.

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