Dental Implant Failure: Exploring Your Options

While studies have found that dental implants are successful about 85% of the time, there's always a chance that your dental implant could fail the first time around. Some common options for implant failure include periodontal disease (loss of supporting bone structures) and bacterial infection. If you're planning on getting a dental implant in the near future, it's always a good idea to speak with your dentist about what your options will be in the unlikely event that your dental implant isn't successful the first time around.

Removing the Implant and Trying Again

Generally, your dentist will probably want to give the implant another try if it's not successful the first time around. However, he or she will first need to check to make sure there's enough bone structure support around the tooth before a new post can be implanted. If the implant failure was caused by significant bone loss (periodontal disease), then a bone graft may be necessary to provide your new implant with the supportive structures it needs for success.

If a bone graft is out of the question, then it may be best to explore other restorative options.

Getting Fixed Partial Dentures

Fixed partial dentures (also known as bridges) are probably the next best thing to a dental implant. With this type of restorative dentistry option, your lost tooth is replaced with a prosthetic tooth that's anchored by the remaining teeth on either side. A fixed partial denture is a viable option for those who have experienced dental implant failure in the past because, with this option, there's no need for bone support. Instead, the success of the bridge relies on the strength of the nearby teeth. Furthermore, fixed partial dentures can only be removed at a dentist's office.

Trying Removable Dentures

Finally, if your dentist isn't comfortable with trying a new dental implant and you're not a viable candidate for fixed partial dentures (perhaps the surrounding teeth are at risk of falling out in the near future), then traditional, removable dentures may very well be your best choice. With removable dentures, you can restore the appearance of your smile, though you'll need to use a denture glue to fix your teeth in place each day. For most dental patients, this option is seen as a last resort, but it's good to know that the option is there for those who may need it as a means of restoring their teeth.