Troubleshooting Failed Dental Implants: Causes and Solutions

Failed Dental Implants

Dental implants replace missing or damaged teeth, offering an ideal solution for people who have experienced issues with their dental health. Unfortunately, there is a chance that the implant can fail and cause further problems such as pain, swelling of gum tissue, discomfort when eating, and even infection. Troubleshooting failed dental implants can be difficult and intricate. If you’ve just had an implant placed in your mouth and it’s not working correctly, don’t assume things will fix themselves – failure of dental implants is more common than you might think! In this blog post, we’ll look at some causes for failing dental implants so that you can understand why they occur and what potential solutions may help correct them.

Causes of Dental Implant Failure

Poor Placement of the Implant

When placing a dental implant, an experienced surgeon must ensure proper placement for the implant to be effective and long-lasting. Poorly placed implants can cause nerve damage, bone fractures, misalignment of the implant, and other complications.

Improper Osseointegration Process

Osseointegration is when an implant fuses with the jawbone and provides a secure foundation for the artificial tooth or prosthesis. If this process is not done properly, it can lead to implant failure due to poor bone support.

Poor Quality Implants 

Not all dental implants are created equal – lower-quality implants can be more prone to wearing down over time or breaking under the pressure of biting and chewing.

Inadequate Oral Hygiene and Care

For an implant to function properly, it needs to be kept clean and free from plaque build-up. Poor oral hygiene can lead to implant failure due to decay and infection.

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions/Medications

Certain medical conditions or medications can increase the risk of implant failure, as they can weaken the jawbone or cause other complications that may interfere with the healing process.

Smoking and Alcohol Use

Both smoking and alcohol consumption can reduce blood flow in the mouth, which makes it more difficult for implants to heal properly. In addition, smoking increases the likelihood of getting an infection after surgery, which can also lead to implant failure.

Unskilled Surgeon or Technician

It is important to go to a qualified surgeon or technician for dental implants, as unskilled practitioners may need to perform proper implant placement or osseointegration processes, leading to a higher risk of failure.

Post-Surgery Infection/Injury

If an infection occurs after surgery, it can damage the surrounding tissue and bone, causing implant failure. In addition, any physical injury to the area can also cause implant malfunction.

Geometric Design Issues with the Implant

Certain implants may be too short or incorrectly designed for proper function, leading to instability and potential failure over time.

Lack of Bone Structure in the Jawbone to Support an Implant

For successful osseointegration, there must be sufficient bone structure in the jawbone to support an implant. If there is not enough bone density, the implant may fail.

Solutions for Troubleshooting Failed Dental Implants

Implant Removal and Replacement 

If an implant fails due to poor placement or other causes, it can be removed and replaced with a new implant to restore the proper function and aesthetics of the smile.

Bone Grafting 

In cases where there is not enough bone structure in the jawbone, a bone grafting procedure can be done to increase the support for a new implant. This method involves taking a small amount of healthy bone from another location on the body and transplanting it into the jawbone area around the implant site.

Sinus Augmentation

When sinuses are low, they may not provide enough support for a dental implant. In this case, a sinus lift procedure can be done to increase the bone volume and allow for the successful placement of an implant.

Lengthening the Dental Arch

When teeth are missing in certain areas of the mouth, they may need to be replaced by lengthening the dental arch with other implants or solutions such as bridges or dentures.

Utilizing Other Solutions to Replace Missing Teeth (e.g., Dentures, Bridges)

If an implant fails due to any cause, other options can replace missing teeth, such as dentures or bridges.

Proper Oral Care and Hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for the success of any implant. This includes brushing twice daily, flossing after meals, and regular professional cleanings by a dentist or hygienist.

Modified Implant Design

In cases where certain implants are not designed correctly, a modified design may be utilized to improve the function and longevity of the implant.

Medications/Treatments for Pre-Existing Conditions/Medications

Suppose any pre-existing medical conditions or medications might interfere with the implant procedure. In that case, a doctor can provide medications or treatments to reduce complications during surgery and increase the chances of successful results afterward.

Avoid Smoking and Alcohol Use

It is important to avoid smoking and alcohol use before, during, and after implant surgery to reduce the risk of failure.


Understanding the different underlying causes of failed dental implants, knowing how to prevent them, and possible solutions in the event of a failed implantation will allow you to have further success with your dental implantations. As always, talk to your dentist about your treatment plan and any specific questions or concerns you may have. At NY Implant Clinic, a premier clinic located in New York City, we are eager to guide our patients toward obtaining replacement teeth safely, reliably, and sustainably while providing the highest level of care and service throughout that process. Call us today for more information!

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