How Do Dental Implants Fail?

If you have a missing tooth and are looking for a permanent replacement, dental implants from an implant dentistry are your only option. There are other options for replacing a missing tooth, but the dental implant is the only one that is considered to be permanent. With a dental implant, you have a metal post that is implanted right into your jaw bone of the missing tooth. That is followed by an abutment and crown to be your new tooth's surface. While it has a high rate of success, some dental implant procedures fail. Here is more information about why they fail and what can be done about it.

Inadequate Bone Volume

Your dentist should take thorough x-rays to be sure you have enough jawbone to support the implant, but sometimes this issue can still occur. The dentist may discover you don't have enough volume in your jawbone either during the implant procedure, or shortly afterward when they realize the bone cannot support the metal post. If this is the case, you can still get a dental implant, but first need to have a bone graft. Lack of bone volume is common among patients with periodontal disease.

Osseointegration Failure

Another issue with your jawbone and failure of the dental implant is if osseointegration does not take place. This is the process of your jawbone fusing together with the metal post after it has been implanted. It takes about three months to complete, but in some cases, the process does not finish. If the metal post falls out or feels loose, osseointegration is not proving to be successful. There are a few different reasons for this, from lack of volume of the bone, to poor quality bone tissue.

There are some patients who experience lack of osseointegration and the dentist can't pinpoint the reason. Incorrect positioning of the post may also be the reason. Also, keep in mind it may seem as if the dental implant worked during the three month healing process, but one or two years afterward, it becomes loose. In this case, it may need to be redone.


The last reason a dental implant can fail is if you experience an infection after getting the procedure, which is called peri-implantitis. This is an infection that occurs during oral surgery when bacteria gets into the open wound during the procedure, or it occurs during the healing process due to poor oral hygiene. In either case, the implant can fail due to the bone loss and swelling of the gum or bone tissue. If you have advanced periodontal disease, you are at a higher risk for infection, so you will need to get it treated before getting an implant.

While these can seem like scary risks, they are actually quite rare. There is a very good chance your implant will go smoothly and last a long time.