The Unfortunate Reality of Dealing with Failed Dental Implants

Failed Dental Implants

Dental implants are a popular choice among many patients due to their ability to restore natural smiles and improve speech, chewing, and overall appearance. Unfortunately, not all dental implant procedures successfully replace a missing or damaged tooth. One study found that up to 10% of dental implants fail within three to five years of being placed. This blog post will discuss the potential causes of failed dental implants and how you can tell if your implant is failing so you can seek treatment immediately.

Definition of Dental Implants  

Dental implants are surgically placed metal posts that replace the root of a missing tooth and serve as anchorage for replacement teeth, such as crowns or bridges. The procedure often restores function and aesthetics in individuals with missing teeth.


Unfortunately, dental implant failure can occur due to various factors, including poor planning and placement by the dentist, lack of bone structure in the jaw to support the implant, poor quality or defective implants from manufacturers, rejection due to allergies or infection, damage caused by smoking or alcohol consumption and bite misalignment causing stress on the implant. In this article, we will explore these causes further, as well as the symptoms of failed implants and options for replacing them.

Causes of Failed Dental Implants

A. Poor Planning and Placement of Implant by Dentist – A successful implant depends on the dentist’s skillful planning and placement, which includes creating a precise plan based on the patient’s medical history and oral health, followed by proper placement of the implant into a healthy site within the jawbone. If this is not done correctly, it can lead to implant failure due to an incorrect insertion angle or improper integration with the jawbone.

B. Lack of Bone Structure in Jaw to Support Implant – Implants must be placed into a healthy area within the jawbone with good bone structure. Not enough bone can cause implant failure due to a lack of stability and pressure on neighboring teeth and gum tissue.

C. Poor Quality or Defective Implants from Manufacturer – In rare cases, implants may fail due to poor quality or defective materials from the manufacturer, which cannot withstand normal wear and tear.

D. Implant Rejections due to Allergies or Infection – Some individuals experience allergic reactions or develop infections at the implant site, which can cause the body to reject the implant and lead to failure.

E. Damage Caused by Smoking or Alcohol Consumption – Smoking and alcohol consumption can damage the gums and bone structure of the jaw, causing implant failure due to lack of stability and support.

F. Bite Misalignment Causing Stress on Implant – Implants are designed to be stable under normal biting forces. However, if a bite misalignment causes excessive pressure on the implants, it may lead to premature failure.

Symptoms of Failed Dental Implants

A. Painful Chewing or Swelling – Patients with failed implants often experience pain while chewing and swelling around the implant site due to inflammation.

B. Discomfort around Implant Site – Failed implants may cause discomfort and sensitivity in the surrounding area, even during normal activities such as speaking or drinking cold beverages.

C. Loose or Failing Implant – Over time, failed implants can become loose or fail due to a lack of stability from bone loss or other underlying issues.

D. Darkening of Gums Around Implant Site – In some cases, the gums may be discolored around the implant site due to infection or rejection by the body.

Replacing Failed Dental Implants

A. Assessing and Treating the Implant Failure – Before replacing a failed implant, it is important to assess the underlying cause of failure and treat any infection or allergies before attempting another implant.

B. Removing Existing Implant if Necessary – If necessary, the existing implant may need to be removed and the area cleaned and treated before any additional attempts at implantation.

C. Post-Implant Care to Ensure Successful Replacement – Following replacement, proper post-implant care is essential for successful integration with the jawbone and long-term success, including maintaining good oral hygiene, avoiding smoking or alcohol consumption, monitoring bite misalignment and visiting your dentist regularly for checkups.

D. Options for Replacing Missing Teeth Following Failed Dental Implants – In cases where dental implants are not an option, dentists may recommend alternative treatments such as bridges, partial dentures, or full dentures to replace missing teeth.

E. Cost and Insurance Coverage Considerations for Replacement Implants – The cost of replacing failed implants can vary depending on the treatment plan and insurance coverage, so discussing these factors with your dentist before any treatment is important.


Dealing with a failed dental implant can be an extremely challenging and heartbreaking experience. Hopefully, the information provided in this article has better equipped you on how to proceed with treatment if an implant failure ever occurs. Proactive preventive measures are the best way to protect your oral health from potentially disruptive circumstances. It is always encouraged that consistent follow-up visits with your dentist are made when dealing with dental implants so that any unsavory incidents or disruptions can be quickly detected and treated accordingly. If you or someone you know are dealing with a failed dental implant, don’t hesitate to visit Louisville Implant Clinic, a well-known clinic located in Louisville, for specialized guidance and help from our expert team of dentists today! Contact us now to learn more.

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