Practical Repairs With Dental Implants

Practical Repairs With Dental Implants

Dental implants are some of the most successful and reliable dental solutions available. They have a 98% success rate and this high success rate has led roughly 3 million people receiving dental implants each year in the US.

It’s important that before you receive a dental implant you are properly screened. There are certain standards that need to be met in order to be a candidate for the procedure. Cutting corners on this can lead to a chance of implant failure. Good bone tissue in the jaw is crucial for successful osseointegration (the process of your bone and the implant post fusing together) and implant placement. In fact, poor bone quality is the most common cause of failure for dental implants.

Below we will discuss the different types of implant failure and how we treat them .

Cracked Implants

One of the more common dental implant failures is a cracked implant. The cause of this problem could be attributed either to the manufacturer of the implant hardware, or it could have been placed improperly. And occasionally, even when the implant hardware is sound and the technician who placed it did it correctly, accidents can happen that may cause it to crack.

When you come into our office the first thing we will do is an x-ray to determine which part of your implant is broken. If your prosthetic crown placed on top of the abutment screw is what has broken, it can be fixed relatively easily by removing the damaged crown and replacing it with a new one. If it is the abutment screw that is broken, things are a bit more involved. While titanium is very strong, it can become cracked or loose.

The cause of these problem is often “metal fatigue.” This is when the metal material is damaged by repeated force or “loads.” Those who suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding) are more likely to have this problem as they repeatedly put extreme force on the implant.

It also possible, but very unlikely, that the screw you received was faulty or defective. A titanium screw that is too small in diameter (especially when used in the posterior teeth) could also be another reason for fracture.

If your screw is fractured, it can be somewhat tricky to remove the fracture pieces, but we can retrieve them, clean the area and replace the abutment screw. We can also determine which brand of implant we used for the implant, and it’s possible the manufacturer may have a warranty you can take advantage of.

Loose Abutment Screw

Screw loosening is more common than screw fracture. Fracture has an incidence rate of 3.9 percent while loosening has an incidence rate of 6.7 percent.

Symptoms that your abutment screw might be loose include a rotated crown, a change in your bite, odor or any sensitivity.


Peri-implantitis is an infection and inflammation around your implant that can lead to bone loss. This complication can be quite serious as it can cause you to lose your implant or the crown.

You’ll know you have peri-implantitis if you experience bleeding or discolored gums, pus coming from gums, a bad taste in your mouth or bad breath, loose crowns or mouth pain.

Factors that can make you more likely to develop peri-implantitis include smoking, diabetes or a compromised immune system. Poor dental habits are most often to blame though. If you fail to remove the plaque from your teeth, it will eventually turn into gum disease that will affect your implant site.

In some ways, peri-implantitis is similar to periodontal disease and it can be treated with a surgical flap procedure in an effort to stop the progression of the infection and clean up the area. Medications like chlorhexidine, tetracycline, metronidazole and citric acid can be used to decontaminate the site. Laser therapies can also be used to treat peri-implantitis.

Implant Failure Prevention

A properly placed and well cared for dental implant can last a lifetime. It’s important to take into account your age at the time of the initial implant placement. If you receive an implant at 50, your chances of never having to repair or replace it are very good. If you receive one at 17, you might expect a tune-up at some point.

Taking good care of your teeth is important for preventing implant complications. Daily brushing and flossing are key and you can even purchase products specifically designed to be used with implants.

Speak Your Mind