Proactive Steps: How to Prevent Implantation Failure in Dental Procedure 

how to prevent implantation failure

People who get dental implants should get educated on how to prevent implantation failure, rather than being apprehensive of experiencing failed dental implants. Prevention is better than cure, as the wise saying goes, and it applies perfectly well to dental implants too. 

One thing that might motivate implant recipients to be proactive in this regard is that implant failures rarely occur – according to studies, 90-95% of dental implants remain successful, while only 5-10% of them fail. The high 90-95% success rate doesn’t exist by default, though. It’s the proactiveness of the patients and the diligence of the implant surgeons that makes it possible. But what exactly does such proactiveness and diligence entail?

We’ll answer this question in detail in this blog, along with recapitulating some common concepts about implant failure (including its definition, causes and early signs).

So, What Is Implant Failure?

As the term itself suggests, implant’ failure’ refers to the failure of dental implants to bond/integrate well with the surrounding jawbone tissues. This loss of connectivity between the implants and the jawbone results in implant instability, thereby compromising its functionality and longevity in the long run. This is a major concern because if it’s not addressed promptly, it may eventually lead to implant loss (i.e., the implant will literally fall out of place). 

What Are The Causes Of Implant Failure?

To address implant failure promptly, it’s crucial to know what’s causing it in the first place. This will not only help you understand the hidden dynamics behind the failure but also help you prevent their incidence. The most common causes of implant failure include:

  • Implant infections (including peri implantitis and peri implant mucositis — advanced and initial types of implant infections, respectively.). These cause the gums and jawbone tissues to deteriorate, thereby resulting in loss of integration between them and implants.
  • Inadequate jawbone density, which makes it difficult for implants to integrate with the jawbone.
  • Poor oral hygiene, which leads to bacterial invasion of gums and jawbone tissue, eventually leading to implant infections.
  • Smoking and drinking, which restricts blood flow to the implants, thereby affecting osseointegration.
  • Uncontrolled systemic diseases like diabetes or immune disorders, which compromises the immune system and affects implant integration.
  • Wrong placement of the implant in terms of angulation.
  • Inadequate sterilisation of implants, which, again, leads to bacterial invasion and eventually to infections.

What Are The Early Signs Of Implant Failure?

Implant failure can be early (i.e., occurring shortly after the implant surgery) or delayed (i.e., occurring weeks, months or even years after the surgery). The good news is that failure is almost never absolute; it begins at a slow pace, showing early symptoms and warning signs, and then gradually proceeds to severe stages. This means that if you know the early symptoms, you can almost always catch the failure in the initial stages and get the required treatment. These early signs include:

  • Persistent and worsening pain is concentrated around the implant site and becomes unbearably intense over time.
  • Persistent and worsening swelling, which may or may not be accompanied by pus and discharge.
  • Gum tissue getting detached from the jawbone (known as gum recession), revealing implant posts.
  • Unusual movement of implants.
  • Pain/discomfort while chewing.
  • Slipping and sliding of the implant bridge

4 Proactive Steps To Prevent Dental Implantation Failure

Now that we have done a thorough recapitulation of what dental implants are, their causes and their early signs, we have a full picture of this rare but concerning phenomenon. This full picture was crucial for you to determine what exactly you (and your surgeon) ought to do in order to prevent implant failure. Let’s spell it out for you in clear, actionable steps:

#1: Practise Optimum Oral Care 

One of the major causes of implant failure is implant infection, and the only way you can prevent that is by practising optimum oral care. By ‘optimum’, we mean a properly organised oral care routine most conducive to your implant health. This includes:

  •  Careful flossing, preferably after each meal (using a gentle, good quality flosser or a water flosser).
  • Brushing at least twice a day (using a soft-bristled toothbrush)
  • Using an antibacterial mouthwash.

These habits will ward off implant infections while also helping keep your overall oral health in the best shape.

#2: Avoid Destructive Habits

One of the best tips on how to prevent implantation failure is avoiding destructive habits. Destructive dietary habits such as excessive smoking and drinking are not only bad for your overall health but are also detrimental to your implant health. While excessive smoking restricts blood flow to the implants, excessive drinking impairs the healing process of implants, compromises jawbone health and causes inflammation— all of which may eventually lead to implant failure. You need to actively avoid these habits if you wish to prevent implant failure.

#3 Take Professional Treatment For Uncontrolled Medical Conditions 

As mentioned above, there are certain medical conditions (like diabetes and certain) immune disorders that adversely affect the implants’ ability to heal and successfully integrate with the jawbone. 

While your implant surgeon will take your detailed medical history first-hand and make sure that your conditions are controlled before going ahead with the implant surgery, it’s your responsibility to keep them controlled while your treatment continues. For this, you need to take professional medical treatment for your conditions in parallel with the implant treatment to ensure that they don’t affect the efficacy of your implants, let alone cause implant failure.

#4: Ensure Proper And Effective Implant Placement 

Improper angulation and inadequate sterilisation of the implants are two more causal factors for implant failure, which can only be ruled out by ensuring you get the implant surgery done by the right provider. A professional surgeon will help achieve this by doing the following:

  • They’ll employ all the necessary pre-surgical assessments and planning that will enable them to determine the precise location and angulation of implants in the mouth, thereby resulting in effective placement. The pre-surgical assessments will also ascertain the presence of enough jawbone volume, which will also serve as a preventive measure against implant failure.
  • They’ll also carry out the implant surgery with necessary hygiene protocols so that absolute implant sterilisation is achieved. 
  • They’ll use the best quality implant material having the optimal level of strength and biocompatibility, which will reduce the chances of infection and hence that of implant failure.

Conclusion 

Implant failure is a rare but real consequence that can happen due to the negligence of the patient or the surgeon, or both. By taking proactive steps — such as practising good oral hygiene, avoiding destructive habits, keeping medical conditions controlled and ensuring proper placement of implants — you and your dentist can prevent implant failure.

For more details about dental implants, schedule a FREE consultation with Napa Implant Clinic, a premium dental practice located in Napa, California. Our team of expert implant surgeons are trained in performing implant surgeries with exceptional precision and acuteness and, therefore, will help you experience a smooth and worry-free dental transformation with their actionable insights.

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