Dental implants are widely considered one of the most successful treatments for missing teeth currently available. They’re natural-looking, natural-feeling, and highly durable. Implants have a success rate of 90% to 95%. However, despite these high odds, there is a slight chance of dental implant failure.

Before going in for your dental implants treatment, it’s vital to understand why some dental implants fail. Together with your dentist, you can take the necessary steps to improve the success rate of your treatment.


Peri-Implantitis is the most common cause of dental implant failure. It is an inflammatory response to a foreign object caused by bacteria in the mouth. When bacteria reaches the gums or tissue around your implant, it causes painful inflammation and deterioration. If not treated, your implant will loosen and fall out. Peri-implantitis typically happens when patients have diabetes, gum disease, or heavy smoking habits. In fact, patients who smoke have a dental implant failure rate of up to 20%.

How can you prevent peri-implantitis? If you’re a smoker, try to stop smoking the week before your implant treatment. Make sure you’re brushing your teeth and flossing daily. Patients with gum disease often don’t have the gum or tissue needed to support an implant, so added procedures like bone grafts or sinus lifts are required.

Failed Osseointegration

When the implant fuses to the jawbone, this is called osseointegration. At this point, your implant is secured and becomes one with your jawbone, just like your natural teeth. However, sometimes this necessary step doesn’t happen. When the implant doesn’t fully merge to the jawbone, it grows loose and can even fall out. This typically occurs in the early weeks following your surgery.

What causes failed osseointegration? Most often, it is a lack of sufficient jawbone. A healthy jawbone is the most vital requirement for dental implants. Some patients may be born with low jawbone density. When this is the case, we can perform procedures like bone grafts.

Other times, failed osseointegration occurs because the jawbone doesn’t heal. If you have diabetes or an autoimmune disease, you may heal more slowly than other patients. Some medications also slow the healing process.

We encourage patients to schedule a consultation with us. It’s during this time that we’ll discuss your health history, take a look at your jawbone density, and discuss any barriers to your treatment. With supplemental procedures, we can usually make dental implants work for everyone! However, patients should still understand the factors that could cause dental implant failure.

How Can I Tell That My Dental Implant is Failing?

There are a few tell-tale signs of a failing dental implant:

  • Severe pain or discomfort around the site of your implant.
  • Swollen or inflamed gums.
  • A dental implant that feels loose or moves while eating and speaking.

If you notice any of these signs of dental implant failure, you should call your dentist as soon as possible to prevent further jawbone deterioration or infection.

But this doesn’t mean that all hope is lost! It is still possible to achieve a fuller, healthier smile even after experiencing dental implant failure. Sometimes we can replace the implant with another. Other times, we may suggest dentures or bridges.

Dental Implants from DICE Dental

Dental implants here at DICE Dental in Bethlehem are one of our most popular services for patients of all ages, from 20 to 99! We offer free consultations to ensure that dental implants are the best fit for you. Request a consultation today to discover the difference dental implants can make.