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Imagine enjoying the benefits of your dental implants for years, only to notice some unsettling changes. Suddenly, they don’t feel as secure when you bite down, or perhaps you’ve taken up smoking again, and now your gums are receding. Could these be signs of dental implant failure? In this article, we’ll explore the symptoms you should watch out for and offer some insights on how to prevent implant failure, ensuring your implants and your smile stand the test of time.
Your Gums Are Receding
That pink, soft tissue that beautifully covers your roots and implant posts plays a crucial role in stabilizing them. If you notice your teeth looking longer than usual or catch a glimpse of the metallic post under the gumline, you may be dealing with peri-implantitis, an infection similar to gum disease. If left untreated, this condition can cause your gums and jawbone to deteriorate, weakening the support given to your implants. It’s vital to alert your dentist as soon as you detect these symptoms to address the issue promptly.
Pain or Swelling Around the Site
During the initial days following your implant placement surgery, it’s perfectly normal to experience swelling and discomfort. However, apart from the immediate aftermath of the procedure and restoration placement, your implants shouldn’t cause you any trouble. Although your replacement teeth don’t have nerves, your gum tissue can still communicate discomfort to your brain, signaling that something is wrong. Pain or swelling around your dental implants should never be ignored, as it may indicate implant failure.
Your Replacement Teeth Feel Loose
Once your implants integrate fully with your jawbone, your replacement teeth should feel firm and stable. Therefore, if you notice a change in their security, it’s crucial to contact your dentist immediately. Continuing to bite or chew with loose implants could lead to complete implant failure. In some cases, clenching or grinding your teeth at night, a condition known as bruxism, might contribute to implant instability. Luckily, a simple oral appliance can help reduce the impact of bruxism on your implants, potentially saving your restored teeth from failure.
Neglecting Proper Implant Care
Sometimes, the clearest sign of potential implant failure lies not in the symptoms but in your behavior. While certain factors outside your control, such as cancer treatments or osteoporosis, may contribute to implant failure, it is largely preventable in most cases. Following the instructions you receive when getting dental implants is vital. This includes daily brushing and flossing of your replacement teeth. Additionally, regular checkups and cleanings with your dentist, at least twice a year, are essential. Neglecting these crucial steps drastically increases the chances of implant failure.
Maintain a vigilant watch over your dental implants, and they can last for decades. Remember, you don’t have to do it alone. Your dentist is your partner in ensuring the longevity of your implants and the beauty of your smile!
About the Author
Dr. Vrajesh Shah brings over 20 years of experience to his practice. After receiving his dental degree and completing a prosthodontics training program at New York University College of Dentistry, Dr. Shah specialized in dental implants, particularly guided implant surgery. If you suspect your implants may be failing, reach out to Edison Prosthodontics to schedule an appointment with Dr. Shah. You can contact our office at 732-906-0077 or visit us at Make You Smile to learn more.