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If You Notice This, Your Dental Implant May be Failing

May 8, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — drwehrkamp @ 2:03 pm
woman experiencing painful dental implant failure

Dental implantation provides a way to regain the functionality and smile aesthetics that you’ve been missing. Better yet, the procedure boasts a 95% success rate. On rare occasions, an implant will fail. Thus, you need to know what the signs are so that you can take swift and effective action. Continue reading to learn about the common indicators of dental implant failure.

Warning Signs That Your Dental Implant is Failing

It’s estimated that five to 10 percent of dental implants fail, either shortly after a procedure or months or years later. Here are some of the warning signs that may indicate a failure:

  • The implant is unstable.
  • You have pain when you bite down into food.
  • Swelling or infection develop around the treatment site.

The moment you notice any of these issues, you should bring it to a dentist’s attention. The sooner you’re examined, the better the chances of lessening the complexity of the restoration process.

What Causes Dental Implants to Fail?

Over time, dentists have compiled a list of the most common contributors to implant failure. Here’s what can place your tooth replacement in danger:

Gum Disease

For many patients, gum disease plays a primary role in their tooth loss. If not effectively treated, it can also compromise an implant. Taking the time to treat gum disease could very well contribute to an implant lasting for decades.


Smoking can impact an implant by restricting blood flow to the gums, which can slow the healing process. Studies show that smokers have an implant failure rate as high as 20 percent.

Shallow Jawbone

When an implant is surgically inserted, a process called osseointegration must occur. This involves the implant fusing with the existing jawbone. If there isn’t enough bone, the implant can unseat and wobble when the tooth is used.

Medical Conditions

Patients dealing with an autoimmune disease or conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes tend to heal slower. This can impact the osseointegration process and leave the implant vulnerable to failing.

Poor Dental Care

There are billions of bacteria present in the mouth at any given time. Practicing consistent and proper dental hygiene (brushing and flossing at least two times a day) helps to control bacteria growth that could negatively impact the implant in the future.

The more diligent you are in your dental care efforts, the better your chances of enjoying a lifelong tooth replacement. However, if you suspect that your dental implant is failing, don’t hesitate to bring it to a dentist’s attention. Therefore, you can get the expert help you need and minimize any life disruptions.

About the Author

Dr. Scott Wehrkamp earned his dental degree from the Loyola University Chicago School of Dentistry. For the past 40 years, he has provided exceptional dental care to the surrounding community. A member of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and Siouxland Dental and Implant Study Club, Dr. Wehrkamp takes a comprehensive approach to the dental implantation process. He helps patients successfully restore their smiles, lives and confidence at Wehrkamp Dentistry, and he can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.

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