Common Causes of Implant Failure and How to Prevent It

Boutique Dentistry for Nashville, Tennessee

If you’re going to invest thousands of dollars into anything, you will want to make sure you do everything in your power to make sure it lasts. Dental implants are no different. With a 95% success rate, it’s extremely uncommon for implants to fail. However, it can happen and most of the time it’s avoidable. If you’re considering dental implants or recently had surgery, you will want to understand what causes implant failure and how to prevent it from occurring.


happy middle aged man shows off his confident smileOne of the most common causes of implant failure is peri-implantitis which is destructive inflammation that affects the hard and soft tissues that surround dental implants. It causes the soft tissue to become inflamed while the hard tissue begins to resorb after time. The combined effect can cause the implants to become loose. The main cause of peri-implantitis is poor oral hygiene after implant surgery. Signs of peri-implantitis include bleeding, pus, swelling, pocket formation, gum recession, redness, bad breath, loose implant, foul taste, and in some cases, pain. If you notice any of these symptoms, we recommend visiting your dentist as soon as possible for treatment.

Bone Loss

Another cause of implant failure is bone loss. Bone loss is usually the result of poor oral hygiene and infected gums. When there isn’t sufficient bone to hold the implants in place, they will become loose and ultimately fail. If bone loss does occur, we can always provide you with a bone graft to restore the lost bone.

Dental Trauma

Any sudden trauma to the jaw can cause the implant to fail prematurely. For example, if you take a bad fall, get into a car accident, or get hit really hard in the face, the impact can cause the implant to break and dislodge in your jaw. In this case, the only option is to replace the dental implant.

Factors that Contribute to Implant Failure

Implant failure can occur for other reasons too that are completely out of your control. For instance, if your implant dentist doesn’t surgically insert the implant at the correct angle or in the right location, it can fail. It can also fail if your impressions weren’t taken accurately and your restoration doesn’t fit over the implants correctly.

Implants can also fail due to an allergic reaction to the implant or your body rejecting the foreign object. Lastly, if your dentist places the implant too close to nerves, it can result in nerve damage which can affect the gums, cheek, lips, or tongue. 

How to Prevent Implant Failure

Preventing implant failure is actually quite simple. First, it’s important that you see a qualified implant dentist with a good record, like Dr. White. The more experienced and successful your dentist has with dental implants, the better your chances are of a successful surgery. A good dental implant dentist in Nashville will take all the appropriate tests to ensure you’re a good candidate for dental implants. If they suspect that your implants have a good chance of failing, they won’t recommend the procedure for you.

Another way you can prevent your implants from failing is by taking good care of your oral hygiene after surgery. This means brushing and flossing regularly and keeping the surgical site clean. You can also avoid smoking or any type of tobacco product at all costs. Smoking and chewing tobacco can contribute to gum disease which is one of the leading factors in implant failure.

Lastly, if you do plan to participate in any physical activities, you should wear a mouth guard to keep your dental implants protected in case you get hit in the face.

Visit Our Implant Dentist in Nashville, TN

If you’re ready to replace your missing teeth with a stable, secure, and natural-feeling solution, our implant dentist in Nashville, TN is here to help. Please contact us to schedule an appointment today by calling (615) 383-6787. Dr. White has a great track record of providing patients with highly successful dental implants. Check out our smile gallery to see some of the smiles we’ve created right here in our office.