Dental implants are prosthetics which are used to replace natural teeth which have been removed or lost due to many reasons. Dental implants can be described as artificial tooth roots on which new artificial teeth can be fitted. These implants are till date, the only option where new jaw bone is stimulated for re growth. The metal which is used today in dental implant dentistry is titanium. It was discovered by a Swedish orthopaedic surgeon, P I Branemark. He found that titanium is a metal that fuses naturally with the bone. Dental implant dentistry is increasingly favoured by millions in Australia, and millions all around Europe and other countries.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
There are many advantages to dental implants, the major one being ease of chewing and eating food comfortably. When you are able to eat all foods that you love to eat, it becomes a cause for joy. No more disappointments of not being able to eat you desire.
The second most important benefit of dental implants is the improved appearance of your face, which in turn give the person a healthy ego boost. Since dental implants look like natural teeth, it allows the person to have a beautiful smile.
Dental implants are also very durable compared to other teeth restoration methods. And once the treatment is over, the dental implants feel exactly like natural teeth and are esy to care for.
How do dental implants work?
Dental implants are basically made of 3 parts. The implant or the screw that goes in the jaw bone, the abutment or the connector, which is fixed on the implant and the crown which is fitted on top of the abutment. The crown is visible , the abutment and the implant are not visible to others. The implant works as an artificial tooth root. Once put inside the jaw bone, it starts bonding with the surrounding bone tissues, which is motivated to grow around the implant. This bone growth bonds the implant with the jaw bone and acts like a root for the tooth crown to be placed on top of the implant. Once the implant has bonded well with the bone, an abutment or connector is placed on top of the screw which supports the crown which placed on top of abutment. The crowns are custom made according the needs of the individual. Once the bonding is complete, the new teeth act and feel like natural teeth.
Can dental implants fail?
Usually dental implants are the safest way to restore missing teeth to help in chewing and a good, presentable smile. But in some cases dental implants do fail, due to individual make up of the bone structure and life style of the person concerned. In many cases the dental implant failure is lack of follow up and not following instructions of the dental care officials.
Why do dental implants fail?
Dental implants can fail for a variety of reasons.
- Bone loss due to infection
The major one among the reasons of dental implant failure is infection of the jaw and bone loss. An infection called Peri-implantitis is a disease peculiar to dental implants as the name suggests. It develops around the implant and quickly spreads to the whole mouth. The more the infection spreads, the more bone loss is possible which is threatening situation and may lead to dental implant failure.
- Failed integration with the bone
The second reason among others is the failed integration with the jawbone. Many people have low bone density in the jaw bone. Because of low density the implant is not able to stimulate the bone to grow around it, and remains loose. The failure to bond with the existing jawbone tissue also happens in cases where dental trauma occurs in patients after implants have been placed in the jawbone.
- Inexperienced surgeon
One of the reasons for dental implant failure is the lack of expertise on part of the dentist. Many dental schools fail to make the upcoming dentist aware of the different metals and different makes available for the surgical treatment of dental implants.
One reason could be the haste with which the dentist attaches abutment and crown while the bonding and re growth of the bone tissue has not completed yet. When the crown has loaded too soon, the pressure on the implant and surrounding bone tissue increases which makes the bone to fail the implant.
When an implant is done on the site where a previous treatment before it has completely healed and all bacteria and micro organisms have been done away with, the implant will be affected again because the organisms will continue to work on the bone again making it infected.
- Too many crowns to support
Sometimes the cause of failure of implants is the number of crowns it is expected to support. If fewer implants are supporting many crowns, than the bone density decreases due to pressure on the implants leading them to fail.
When implants are placed in the jaw bone with insufficient bone density, the implants are not supported well and they become loose because of lack of support from the surrounding bone.
- Autoimmune diseases
Another reason of failing dental implant is any autoimmune disease in the patient. The autoimmune disease is characterised by the body’s tendency to fight against itself. The body rejects the new prosthetic and does not allow bone to re grow.
- Blood not clotting
The inability of the blood to clot in some people may also be one of the reasons for implant failure. Some bleeding is part of the treatment, but when it does not clot and stops, the work cannot be carried out in such patients.
- Medication and lifestyle habits
Some medication also does not allow the process of implanting. Therefore it is imperative to know a complete history of medication before doing dental implants.
Poor health, smoking, other medical conditions like diabetes are also additional factors that make the dental implants fail.
It can be quite scary to come to know that your dental implant has failed. After all you have invested hope, money and time on the dental implants treatment. But do not panic.
First of all, you must keep the implant safe. No need to panic. Call and arrange for an immediate appointment with your dentist. The reason your dental implant has failed will decide the course of action to be taken.
An experienced dentist will be able to take appropriate steps to restore your implants and the health of your teeth.