Failed Dental Implant Options: Emergency Solutions

failed dental implant options

In dental prosthetics, titanium dental implants have taken over the market and have become the absolute gold standard treatment for people suffering from compromised teeth. 

But even with studies showing stellar success rates, there are reports of complications about this treatment, occurring due to reasons such as infection, a weak, less dense bone, mismanaged oral health (smoking and bad diet), or biomechanical overload (too much pressure on the dental implants). 

Having your implants fail is an unfortunate circumstance for patients; it can cause them discomfort and the loss of a hefty financial investment. However, if such a situation arises, a professional’s primary goal should be immediate intervention. This blog post is written as a guide for such circumstances; we will discuss prompt actions and viable failed dental implant options.

When Should You Explore Failed Dental Implant Options?

Before discussing the preemptive actions you can take, we need to break down what dental implant failure looks like, as there might be a chance your implants have not completely failed. Common signs include:

Pain or Discomfort

You might feel consistent pain and irritation in and around the implant denture site; this is especially concerning if it happens long after the healing and jawbone-implant fusion processes (osseointegration) have ended. If you are suffering from long, lasting pains, then there’s a chance your implants are failing.

Mobility

An implant is not supposed to move around too much. It should be rigid and stay fixed in one place; in other words, it should not exhibit any mobility. Any movement in your implant signifies a failure in either the osseointegration process or the mechanical stability.

Gum Recession

If your gum is steadily and noticeably shrinking around the implant, it might mean a possibility of either peri-implantitis (an implant infection) or improperly placed implants.

Swelling or Inflammation

One of the more visible signs of implant failure is bleeding and swollen red gums around the implant site, which could be warning signs of infection or peri-implantitis.

Difficulty Chewing

Similar to the consistent pain that you might be feeling, if chewing causes spikes in trouble or discomfort, it might suggest implant instability or surrounding tissue problems.

Immediate Actions for Suspected Implant Failure

If you detect warning signs and suspect that your implants are failing, your immediate actions can affect the future by preventing further damage and managing the pain or discomfort. 

The first, highly advisable action is to immediately contact your dentist. Reach out to your dental professional as soon as possible, describe your symptoms to them in detail, and request an emergency appointment. 

Keep brushing and flossing regularly, but be gentler around the affected area to prevent irritation from increasing. Rinsing your mouth with lukewarm salt water will also help manage the pain and swelling. It’s also advised that you stop chewing from the affected side to save some pain.

You can also take over-the-counter, non-prescription pain relievers like ibuprofen, which might help manage the pain and reduce inflammation until you see your dentist.

Failed Dental Implants Options

The dentist will recommend an immediate emergency solution for your implant failure, which is variable and will depend upon the specific reasoning behind your implant failure. The appropriate treatment will also be based on the extent of the damage accrued. Here are some of the common solutions:

Implant Removal

The best preemptive solution the dentist will follow is simply removing your implants during a minor surgery. If your dental implant moves or is loose, causing discomfort, or if a serious infection is discovered that cannot be managed conservatively, the dentist will remove 

it.

You will be under local anesthesia for the entire duration of the surgery as the dentist cleans the surrounding tissues and bone thoroughly to remove traces of bacteria and infection.

After the removal process, the area will be left to heal on its own, a process that can take several weeks to months, depending on the severity of the infection and bone loss.

Antibiotic Therapy

If infection is found to be the main cause of your implant failure, then the dentist will follow antibiotic therapy. The antibiotics offered to you can help eliminate the infection for weeks to months.

The prescribed antibiotics will depend on the type of infection you have. Common antibiotics used include amoxicillin, clindamycin, and metronidazole.

You will need to complete the course of your prescribed antibiotic treatment and follow up with your dentist to ascertain whether the infection has been fully resolved.

Debridement and Cleaning

Suppose you are showing signs of early peri-implantitis or facing an infection of lesser severity. In that case, the dentist will just offer cleaning and debridement (removing plaque) of your implant area. This procedure involves removing any infected tissue and debris around the implant causing the infections.

Dentists use specialized instruments made specifically to clean the implant surface and surrounding tissues efficiently and thoroughly. They might also be disinfected with an antiseptic or antibiotic solution.

Bone Grafting

If the cause of your implant failure is insufficiency or degradation of your bone, then a process of bone transplantation called bone grafting may become necessary to restore adequate bone volume before the implant is put back again.

The dentist will place bone graft material where bone loss has occurred; the material can be autogenous (from the patient), allogeneic (from a donor), or synthetic. This method benefits new bone growth and sets better conditions for a future implant.

After the procedure, the site will require a healing period of several months for the mouth to adapt before your new implant can be placed.

Soft Tissue Grafting

In the case of gum recession or insufficient soft tissue coverage, soft tissue grafting is the most commonly used method to counteract this situation, which can enhance the gingival architecture around the implant.

In the procedure of this treatment, the dentist takes a small piece of tissue, often from the palate, then grafts it onto the area around the implant. This piece of tissue will cover exposed implant surfaces which will help address aesthetic and appearance issues.

Re-Implantation

After the fundamental problem that was causing implant failure has been addressed, the dentist will consider placing an implant back into the mouth.  You can expect the new implant denture to be placed at the failed dental implant site, provided that the conditions for successful osseointegration have been met.

Once the site has fully healed up and is infection-free, the new implant will be placed on the site. The dentist will continue to meticulously check on the bone and soft tissue health over the next couple of months to confirm that the best environment is facilitated for the implant this time around.

Conclusion

This blog offered preemptive and long-term emergency solutions to patients facing implant failure. We first identified some major warning signs of failure and then discussed appropriate medical solutions corresponding to each problem.

If you want more information about implant failure or an experienced professional to assess your case with the utmost attention, feel free to visit or contact us at the Fresno Implant Clinic, a premier clinic in Fresno, California. Contact us now to schedule a consultation!

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