Learning to Take Better Care of Your Family's Teeth

What Causes A Dental Implant To Fail? Can You Stop The Process?

If you've recently gone through the lengthy and often painful process of having a dental implant surgically placed in your jaw, you may be dismayed to find that the implant is beginning to work its way free from the bone. In other cases, you may be dealing with mild flu-like symptoms as your body's immune system rejects the titanium rod in your jaw bone. What should you do if you suspect your dental implant is beginning to fail? Read on to learn more about the factors that can lead to implant failure and what you can do to stop or reverse this process. 

What can cause a dental implant to fail? 

While it may seem fundamentally no different from a root canal or the placement of a crown or bridge, a dental implant involves osseointegration -- the permanent placement and integration of a foreign object inside your body's bone. Like other transplants and implants, this can sometimes cause your body to mount an immunological response to the "intruder" and attack your gum tissue and jaw bone. While most bodies' immune systems quickly adjust to the dental implant, allowing osseointegration to occur, in other cases your body could continue to attack the implant until it is forced from your jaw bone or causes infection.

One of the largest risk factors for dental implant failure is smoking or chewing tobacco. Not only do the physical acts of smoking and chewing introduce carcinogens into your system, lowering the ability of your immune system to properly function, the nicotine in cigarettes and chewing tobacco can harm the tiny capillaries that need to form in the gum tissue around the implant. This can hinder the healing process and eventually cause the implant to become infected.

Once your implant has begun to fail, is there anything you can do to stop this process? 

After your implant has been placed, you'll likely have several follow-up appointments with your dentist. It's important to adhere to these appointments, as they'll allow your dentist to ensure you're properly healing. If you're still dealing with significant pain after the time your dentist advised you it would abate, or if you feel like you have the flu, visit your dentist or an emergency dentist as soon as you can. 

In some cases, the dentist can flush any bacteria from the area surrounding the implant and suture the gum tissue to the titanium screw, helping speed up the healing process. In milder cases, the issue may be treated with antibiotics or supplements that will stimulate bone growth and suppress the inflammation response. However, taking no action will all but ensure you'll need a new dental implant.

To learn more, contact a company like Tijeras Dental Service