While the risk of dental implant failure is low, as with any surgery, there is a small risk of it not being successful. The possibility of a dental implant failure can often be determined before the implant takes place, lessening the risk of it occurring after the surgery.
Failure soon after the implant is more likely than later failure and can be due to overheating of the bone or poor bone quality, incorrect force applied during or after the implant or contamination of the implant or the implant site. These causes of dental implant failure can be reduced by using a fully qualified dental surgeon who will assess the implant site correctly and follow proper, sterile procedures during surgery. Afterwards, it is up to the patient to follow all advice given on caring for their implants.
Great care should be taken during the healing process to prevent dental implant failure caused by poor oral health. The dentist will instruct the patient on how to take care of an implant and this should be followed thoroughly. Any unusual pain or swelling should be reported to the dentist immediately to ensure an infection will not upset the implant.
Rejection of the implant or reaction to it is unlikely to be a cause of dental implant failure, since the materials used, generally titanium, have no known effects in the body and are bio compatible. The most likely cause of failure is if unrecognized bacteria already existed in the implant site when the implant was placed. Rejection can occur occasionally and is usually known by inflamed gums around the implant site. If you are a teeth-grinder, this may also cause dental implant issues, but with this knowledge your dentist should be able to supply a guard to protect against this.
Frightening as that all may sound, dental implant failure is rare – implants are reported to be around 93% to 95% effective. Even if a dental implant failure occurs, it is possible to place another implant on the same site, particularly if the cause of dental implant failure is recognized and can be avoided.