What Causes Dental Implant Failure and How Can You Avoid It?


Dental implants are designed to last. With proper use, they can enhance your smile and restore dental function for decades. At Hill Country Oral Surgery, we regularly perform dental implant placement in Austin, TX and have an excellent success rate.

Unfortunately, dental implants do occasionally fail. This is not a common problem but can be a frustrating one when it occurs. Learn what causes dental implant failure and get our best tips for avoiding this problem. Our goal is a beautiful, healthy, restored smile after tooth loss or extraction. Call us to schedule your consultation with one of our skilled and experienced oral surgeons.

Common Causes of Dental Implant Failure

What causes a dental implant to fail? There are many potential reasons. Some problems occur shortly after placement and may keep the dental implant from properly integrating with the jawbone. Other issues can arise long after the implant is placed, often due to disease, infection, or improper care. Keep reading to learn about some of the most common causes of dental implant failure in Austin, TX.

  • Patient Health- Your health plays a critical role in determining the success of your implants. Some medical conditions, including autoimmune diseases and blood diseases, may make implants inadvisable. We’ll talk about your health, including any medications you may be taking, to ensure that implants are safe and recommended for you.
  • Smoking- Smokers experience higher levels of implant failure. This doesn’t automatically disqualify a smoker from the procedure, but it is something we should talk about. If you smoke, stopping is one of the best things you can do for your oral and overall health.
  • Implant Rejection or Allergic Reaction- Rejection occurs when the body reacts negatively to a foreign substance, in this case, the dental implant. Other patients may experience an allergic reaction to components used in the implant. Allergic reactions are very rare since the implants we use are made using a specially treated titanium.
  • Nerve or Tissue Damage- Nerve or tissue damage during implant placement can cause problems with integration.
  • Infection- Infection can cause implant failure at any time during the life of the implant. Initially, infections may interfere with the implant’s ability to integrate. Later, infection can erode bone holding the implant in place.
  • Overloading- Too much pressure, too soon on a new implant can cause failure.
  • Not Enough Implants- For patients requiring extensive restoration, we often use implants to support bridges, allowing for full arch reconstruction with as few as four implants. These procedures can be highly successful but require careful planning to ensure sufficient support. Too few implants can lead to dental implant failure.
  • Poor Oral Hygiene- Good oral hygiene is critical to maintaining natural teeth or dental implants. Poor hygiene can lead to bone or gum loss or infection, common causes of dental implant loss.
  • Lack of Bone or Gum Tissue- Implants must be supported by sufficient bone and gum tissue. We use bone and gum grafting as needed to ensure that patients have the needed structure within the mouth to successfully support dental implants.
  • Tooth Grinding- Dental implants can stand up to biting and chewing forces for many years, but tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, can be problematic. If you have this problem, come see us, and we can recommend treatment options to protect either your natural teeth or your implants.

These are some of the most common causes of dental implant failure but are not the only potential causes. We’ll talk with you extensively about the risks and benefits of this procedure during your consultation.

Avoiding Dental Implant Failure- What Can You Do?

One of the best ways to prevent dental implant failure is to choose an experienced and careful oral surgeon for your implant placement. Dental implants aren’t a quick fix, and any dentist that tells you they are should be avoided. We take our time with dental implants to ensure that they are ready to withstand years of chewing and smiling. Choose an oral surgeon with extensive dental implant experience, like Dr. Cavaretta and Dr. Rasmussen.

Taking care of your teeth is the other key to success. We’ll provide you with detailed recovery instructions, and we will teach you how to care for your implants so they can last.

Learn more about dental implants at Hill Country Oral Surgery. Call us at 512-327-7233 to schedule your consultation with us.