3 Causes Of Dental Implant Failure

Dental implants were developed to replace natural teeth. The implants, which are secured using titanium screws, are surgically placed inside the jawbone of the dental patient, where they fuse to the bone. This fusion, which is termed osseointegration, allows an implant to become secure and stabilized within the patient's mouth. Thus, it won't move about as the patient chews or bites. Instead, the implant remains stationary like a natural tooth.

In addition, like natural teeth, dental implants are usually durable enough to last throughout the patient's lifetime. Still, there are things that can cause a dental implant to loosen and ultimately fail. Here are a few:


Gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. However, it is also a major factor in dental implant failure.

Periodontitis includes a number of unhealthy conditions involving the gums. This can include: destruction of the connective tissue, deterioration of the ligaments within the gums, and osteo-atrophy of the bone that supports the tooth or dental implant. When the disease is aggressive, it results in a quick loss of attachment tissues and the rapid destruction of bone, even though the dental patient is otherwise healthy. 

Once a dental implant becomes loose inside the bone, it is irreparable, and the implant will fail. 

People with a previous history of periodontitis may not be any more susceptible to implant failure than other implant patients. However, if aggressive periodontitis is present after the implant placement, implant failure is more likely. Thus, it is important to exercise meticulous dental hygiene after your implant surgery.


Smoking impacts your body's ability to heal and causes inflammation of the soft tissues within the oral cavity. Once your implant surgery is complete, the implantation site will need to heal. However, if oxygen flow to the site is restricted as it may be for a smoker, the wound may not heal as quickly as it should.

In addition, smoking may make you more susceptible to infection. Although your dentist will likely prescribe antibiotics before and after the placement of your implant, it is important to minimize the risk of infection to minimize the chance of implant failure.

Heavy Alcohol Consumption

Excessive drinking can also increase the likelihood of implant failure. If you regularly consume large amounts of alcohol, stop drinking as your implant surgery date approaches. Alcohol may not only interfere with the pain medications needed to keep you comfortable during and after your procedure, but it can also cause your antibiotics to be less effective. 

If you are considering a dental implant, schedule a consultation with a dentist like Olympia Dental and Implant Center to learn the best ways to help your implant be successful.