Early and late dental implant failure
A dental implant is a metal post that’s surgically attached to the jaw bone to support an artificial tooth. Once in place, a restorative dentist or oral surgeon mounts a replacement tooth to the implant.
Dental implants have a high success rate, but some people experience dental implant failure. It’s estimated that about 5 to 10 percent of dental implants fail, either shortly after a procedure or months or years later.
If you’re scheduled to have dental implant surgery, or if you currently have an implant, here’s what you need to know about implant failure and other potential complications.
Getting dental implants is generally considered safe, but as with any surgery, complications may occur, including bleeding; infection; and nerve, sinus or nasal cavity injuries.
Other points to keep in mind:
■ Dental implants aren’t a quick fix. Multiple steps are involved—including waiting up to six months for the implant to fuse with the jawbone, a process called osseointegration. (A temporary tooth may be worn over the implant site.)
■ Infections can still happen. The gum around the implant can be infected by bacteria, triggering periimplantitis, a periodontal disease that can result in bone loss.
■ Additional dental work may be needed. If your jawbone is weakened by osteoporosis, for instance, the surgeon may graft bone onto the weakened portion. Your sinus cavity may also have to be lifted (sinus elevation) if it’s enlarged and pushing into the area that needs a bone graft.
■ They’re costly. Insurance doesn’t typically cover implants. Expect to pay several thousand dollars for a single implant to tens of thousands for multiple teeth.
Despite these drawbacks, implants are a safe and reliable option for older adults. Surgery has a success rate of more than 90 percent, and implants can significantly improve quality of life.
If left untreated, the progressive bone loss and infection can cause the implant to fail. Features of an infected dental implant are similar to those of gum disease and can include one or more of the following symptoms: Loose or wobbly implant. Red or puffy gums around the implant.
Dental implant failure is a possibility if you're diagnosed with an autoimmune disease or conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, which causes the body to heal at a slower pace. Slow healing can prevent osseointegration, where the implant fuses or integrates with your jaw bone
Dental implant surgery is usually an outpatient surgery performed in stages, with healing time between procedures. The process of placing a dental implant involves multiple steps, including: Damaged tooth removal. Jawbone preparation (grafting), when needed
Micromotion of dental implants has been defined as minimal displacement of an implant body relative to the surrounding tissue which cannot be recognized with the naked eye  (Figure 1). Various authors have shown that excessive micromotion may interfere with the process of osseointegration of dental implants
A dental implant is considered to be a failure if it is lost, mobile, or shows peri-implant bone loss of greater than 1.0 mm in the first year and greater than 0.2 mm a year after. Peri-implantitis can result in bone loss around the implant and eventual loss of the implant
A common implant infection is peri-implantitis which is a type of gum disease. If left untreated, serious oral complications can occur like bone loss or implant failure. Dental implant infection signs include: