Dental implants are a big investment so when they fail, it can feel like a big blow. If you spend all this money and go through a surgical procedure, you want real, long-lasting results. Unfortunately, depending on where you get them, dental implants can easily fail. One of the biggest problems with implant surgery is the discrepancies between different doctors. Even though there are certain techniques that work better than others, there are thousands upon thousands of doctors performing dental implant surgeries using outdated methods. The worst part is, patients can rarely tell the difference between experienced implant doctors and inexperienced implant doctors.
We’re breaking down five of the major reasons why dental implants fail and how you, as a patient, can avoid them.
This first one actually doesn’t have anything to do with the doctor who places your implant. It has to do with how well you take care of your implant post-op. You have to take the six month healing period very seriously if you want to keep your dental implants. This means only eating soft foods, practicing good oral hygeine (to keep them from getting infected), and, most importantly, staying away from tobacco. Smoking or chewing tobacco can directly cause your implants to fail. In our office, it’s the number one most common reason why patients’ implants fail.
Quitting cigarettes cold turkey is difficult which is why we encourage patients to begin the process well before they get implant surgery. This increases the chances that they’ll stay smoke-free after the operation.
If you’re getting dental implants, make sure to stock up on lots of soup, mashed potatoes, and ice cream! During the healing period, you’ll have to stick to only eating soft foods. If you try to eat more solid foods, not only will it be painful, it’ll also encourage the implant to fail. As the implant is healing and bonding with the bone, it can’t handle the pressure that comes with eating sticky or tough food.
Hold off on that steak dinner until you get the okay from your doctor. A few months of eating a liquid/soft food diet will mean a lifetime of eating whatever you want again.
If the patient does everything right post-op and the implant still fails, the culprit could be poor placement. Dental implants bond to the jaw bone which is how they manage to act like natural teeth. In some cases, the implant may be unable to bond to the jaw bone. If this happens, it’s because the dentist placed the implant in an area with an insufficient amount of bone. This typically happens when the doctor doesn’t use the proper planning techniques (most importantly 3D scans of the patient). They may go into the surgery effectively blind, placing the implant where they suspect (and hope) bone will be.
To keep the chances of poorly placed implants as low as possible, our doctors always use cutting-edge technology to digitally map out the procedure before the patient even arrives on surgery day. During the procedure, the doctors use a custom-made guide that directs the implant into the perfect position so there’s absolutely no room for human error. Everything about the Omega Teeth process ensures the best possible placement and the lowest level of placement-related implant failure.
In order for something to last a long time, it has to be made of the best materials possible. Dental implants have to last a lifetime so you would assume they would always be made of top-notch materials, right? Unfortunately, there are thousands of “discount implants” on the market that are made of cheap, breakable materials like plastic. If you get a dental implant that’s made of poor materials, it won’t fail immediately but, down the line, you will see its steady deterioration.
So, how can you keep that from happening? Make sure to ask your doctor what kind of material s/he is using for your implants. If s/he replies with “plexiglass” you may want to try going to a different doctor because plexiglass is essentially plastic (and if you’re investing in dental implants, you probably want something a few steps up from plastic).
With the Omega Teeth process, our doctors use 100% zirconia implants which are the strongest and most aesthetic dental implants currently on the market. Of course, technology is always changing so if dental labs find a material that’s better than zirconia, we’ll start using that instead.
How do you make surgery faster? Do the heavy-lifting before the patient gets to the operating room. Doctors placing dental implants have to do a lot of planning in order to place successful implants on the day of surgery.
In the last ten years, there have been extensive technological advancements in the world of dental implant planning. These advancements have made the whole process easier, faster, and more efficient. In our office, we try our best to stay abreast of new, cutting edge tech that can help make our patients’ experiences better. Thanks to the technology we’ve added to our office in the past few years, we’ve seen zero planning-related dental implant failures.
We’re offering complimentary Omega Teeth consults — both in-person and virtually. Call (919) 460-9665 to schedule your consult! We’ll see you soon!