Can Dental Implants Be Replaced?
If you have dental implants the crown of your implant can be replaced if it is damaged. However, dental implants are inserted with the intention that like real teeth, they will be with you for life.
Dental implant surgery can cause a lot of stress and strain on the jaw and is not something most dentists want their patients to have to go through more than once. However, there are some instances where your dental implant as a whole may need to be replaced.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are permanently installed to replace a broken or missing tooth. Dental implants are made to replace individual teeth and do not need to be removed like dentures.
A dental implant is made up of:
- a receptor. These are not designed to be replaced. These are inserted into the jawbone to hold the crown of the tooth in place.
- and a crown. The crown screws into the receptor and can be replaced if damage is caused to it.
Why might a dental implant need to be replaced?
A common reason a dental implant may need to be replaced is because of poor oral hygiene habits that can lead to infection. However, according to one study age, length of the implant, the diameter of the implant, bone quality, and region of the implant are all factors that determine how long dental implants will survive.
Dental implants are grafted into the bone. Poor hygiene can cause gum disease which can lead to the loosening of the gum from the bone and undermine the implant.
When the implant is no longer supporting the tooth the whole dental implant may need to be extracted.
What factors can cause dental implants to fail?
- Smoking: Smoking restricts blood flow to the bones which can lead to the loosening of the gums. When the gums are loose the implant has a harder time being supported by the jawbone the implant is grafted to. Dental implants in smokers have a 20% higher failure rate than non-smokers.
- Gum disease: Gingivitis leads to weakened gums which affect the success rate of an implant. You will need to have healthy gums to undergo dental implant surgery.
- Bone loss: Some people have an insufficient bone in their jaw for dental surgery to be effective. Osteoporosis in older age can have an effect on dental implant success.
- Pre-existing conditions: Some medical conditions can cause the body to heal slower than a healthy body. Dental implants can take up to six weeks to heal. Diabetes or arthritis may cause the jawbone to heal very slowly. One study from 2016 found heartburn medications may reduce new bone growth. Talk to your doctor about which medications you are on before undergoing dental implant surgery.
- Bad oral hygiene: Poor oral hygiene can lead to the failure of dental implants. This is because diseases like gingivitis can compromise the health of your gums.
How to know if my dental implant is failing?
- Infection, bleeding, or pain around the implant unrelated to the initial surgery
- The implant becomes loose or falls out
- Numbness, tingling and loss of feeling in the jaw or area where the implant is
- Sinus problems which develop after surgery. This could be a sign the implant is touching the sinus cavity.
- Peri-implantitis. This is highly uncommon but is caused when the bone and gum around the implant are inflamed from a bacterial infection.
How to ensure your dental implant lasts a lifetime:
Brushing for two minutes a day with an electric toothbrush is one of the best ways to keep your dental implant healthy. Flossing every day between teeth is critical to keeping the gums healthy and strong.
Keeping a consistent schedule with your dentist is also key to ensuring your dental implants last a lifetime. If you have dental implants and are concerned about its longevity, book in now to see one of our highly qualified dentists.
Our dentists will take a look at your implant and give you the advice and guidance needed to keep your mouth and your dental implant healthy.