Dental implants are the best option if you want to replace missing teeth. This is a treatment which is in huge demand and enjoys high appreciation among patients and specialists alike.
The success rate of dental implants is very high; however, sometimes (but only in approximately 2% of cases), they may be rejected or fail to integrate.
In fact, this is not a medical case of rejection, given that it occurs when the organism doesn’t recognise a grafted material either as its own or as bio-compatible, therefore producing antibodies against the grafted material and causing the rejection to occur.
Titanium is almost always bio-compatible, and we rarely see cases of titanium allergy, incompatibility or rejection.
What does a failed dental implant mean?
By failure, we refer to erroneous cicatrisation of the gum. After having dental implants fitted, a process going by the name of osseointegration begins, during which the dental implant must adapt to and correctly graft itself to the gum and to the alveolar bone.
When the dental implant fails, we cannot fit the permanent dental prosthesis since we are unable to guarantee that it will remain firmly in place. In cases such as these, and if the specialist so decides, the dental implant must be removed, the area cleaned, and the procedure repeated.
As we said above, in almost all cases the osseointegration process is a success. At our dental clinic in Donostia, we make an in-depth study of our patients’ dental condition in order to decide if it is suitable to proceed with the operation. Once the implant has been fitted, we give our patients the necessary advice to take good care of their dental implants and prevent them from failing.
How do we detect implant failure?
After the dental implants have been fitted, a period of osseointegration begins, which usually takes 3 to 4 months depending on the complexity of the case, i.e. depending on the height, width and quality of the underlying bone, and on whether or not we add artificial bone. In this process, the alveolar bone grows around the implant to hold it firmly in place.
During the osseointegration process, we can easily see if the integration has failed. Instead of the implant adapting to the bone, a fibrous tissue grows between the two, preventing the implant from being firmly held in place. Given that the failed integration does not occur immediately the implant is fitted, it is important for the patient to visit the dentist for the programmed check-ups previously agreed to.
Pain in the area around the implant or a moving implant are symptoms that the procedure is not following its expected course.
Personally, I have been fitting dental implants for many years, meaning that I have a great deal of experience in the procedure. Besides the established check-ups, I give my patients a series of guidelines to prevent the rejection of their dental implants:
- Don’t smoke or do so as little as possible. It is important not to smoke, at least during the osseointegration period. This is, without a doubt, one of the main causes of initial and delayed implant failure.
- Taking care of their dental hygiene. It is very important to clean your teeth carefully during this period. The formation of a dental or gum disease can seriously complicate the process.
- Be cautious. Serious traumatisms in the 3 months following the fitting of dental implants may cause the implant to fail
As an expert in the matter, I recommend that you ask me about your case, with no obligation. Having made your appointment, we will study your case to see if dental implants are an option and will provide you with all of the information you need to guarantee the successful outcome of the process.