Once a missing tooth is replaced with a dental implant, the ball is largely in your court to ensure you preserve it well. Maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly for oral cleaning will ensure that the area around your implants does not develop any inflammation. The dentist will also remove hardened tartar on your gums and implants, ensuring that you stay clear of any infection that would cause bone loss and eventually cause your implant to come off.
Knowing what can cause dental implant failure after the integration process has been successful - meaning there is no initial bone loss or rejection of the implant - can go a long way in helping you protect your investment and ensure that your new smile lasts for a lifetime. Here is a look at common causes of "later" implant failure.
Overloading the implants
Care has to be taken with biting pressure around a new dental implant until the underlying bone heals completely. Biting with too much force may cause the crown on the implant to fracture, or result in bone loss. If you grind or clench your teeth, your dentist may recommend that you use a night guard to reduce stress on the implants.
Larger implants can be installed to replace back teeth as they can better handle the greater biting forces on these areas, while implants of different shapes may be used to prevent the problem of implant failure or fractures due to immense biting pressure.
Dental implant inflammation
Inflammation of the area surrounding an implant is probably the leading cause of dental implant failure at a later stage. Food debris can sometimes penetrate the gum tissue surrounding the implant, encouraging bacteria to cause an inflammation that could result in implant failure.
In other instances, the dental cement used to attach a crown can cause an infection if not completely removed. In most cases, the removal of excess dental cement followed up by meticulous oral hygiene and a dose of antibiotics can usually reverse any gum inflammation.
A more problematic inflammation can also occur if an infection penetrates the surface and reaches the bone underneath the implant. Bone inflammation can cause swelling, reddening of the gums, bleeding and pain in the jawbone, while it also undermines the support of the implant leading to failure if not caught early. This form of inflammation is more prevalent in individuals with a history of periodontal disease, and can aggravate bone loss, causing the implant to loosen and come off.
For more information about dental implants and how to maintain them, contact Tijeras Dental Service or a similar location.