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Dental Implant Salvage – Jacksonville, FL

Save Your Restored Smile

Dental implants boast an outstanding success rate — in fact, they thrive in over 95 percent of cases! However, that does not guarantee that your dental implants will always remain problem-free. Various circumstances can put them at risk of failure. On this page, we discuss some of the possible causes of dental implant failure. We also explain how it may be possible to save your restored smile via our dental implant salvage services.

Why Do Dental Implants Fail?

There are a number of reasons why dental implants may fail, including:

  • Trauma. A hard impact to the mouth, habitual grinding and clenching of the teeth, or other forms of physical trauma may damage the implant’s restoration, the implant itself, or the tissue that supports the implant.
  • Infection. Peri-implant mucositis is an infection that attacks the gum tissue around a dental implant. Its symptoms are similar to gum disease. It can eventually worsen and become peri-implantitis, which eats away at the bone and compromises the implant’s base of support. Smoking, poor oral hygiene, medical conditions that affect the immune system, and other factors can all greatly increase an individual’s risk of developing peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis.
  • Failed osseointegration. If a dental implant fails soon after it is placed, it may be because the bone did not properly fuse with it (osseointegrate). Medical conditions, inadequate bone density, and tobacco use can all contribute to osseointegration problems.

What Are the Symptoms of Failed Dental Implants?

Receding gums around dental implant, symptom of dental implant failure

Early dental implant failure occurs within the first year after the implants are placed in the jawbone, while late dental implant failure may occur years or even decades following the initial procedure. Symptoms of both types of implant failure are similar and can include:

  • An implant feels loose. In some cases, it is just the restoration on top of the implant that is loose. In other cases, the looseness occurs because the bone around an implant has suffered damage.
  • There is significant pain or swelling. When peri-implantitis occurs, the gums tend to become red and swollen. Gum recession may occur. Pain around the implant site is also common. (If you just had your implants placed, a degree of discomfort and swelling are normal. However, if you notice any extreme symptoms, there may be a problem.)
  • It is difficult to chew. After you get your implant restorations, you should be able to chew virtually any food without difficulty. If it becomes difficult to chew with your implant-supported teeth, you may be experiencing implant failure.

How Does Dental Implant Salvage Work?

If you notice signs that one of your dental implants is failing, contact our team right away. The sooner you seek help, the more likely it is that we can save your implant with a conservative, minimally invasive treatment. When you come in for your appointment, we will put our expertise and state-of-the-art technology to work to diagnose the cause of the problem. Then, we will recommend a course of action.

If the problem is related to the implant’s restoration, Dr. Nawrocki may be able to correct it. As a highly trained prosthodontist, he is more than qualified to design artificial teeth in a way that ensures the best possible function.

If an infection is the culprit behind your symptoms, it might be possible to address the issue in its early stages and avoid surgical intervention. Antibiotics, along with an increased focus on oral hygiene, might be able to prevent an infection from worsening to the point where total implant failure occurs. We have an on-staff periodontist, Dr. Aguila, who is an expert on the gums and the conditions that affect them, including peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis.

In other cases, surgery is necessary. We may need to place new bone material around the implant to help it stay in place. We might also have to remove the implant altogether. In instances where removing the implant is necessary, it may be possible to place a new implant after the mouth has had an opportunity to heal.