4 Controllable Factors That Can Decrease The Chance Of A Successful Dental Implant

If you are considering a dental implant, you may already be aware that some implants are not successful. They may fail due to unavoidable conditions, such as type-1 diabetes, but there are avoidable conditions that affect implant failure rate as well. Here are a few controllable factors that can cause an implant to fail:

Gum Disease

If you want your dental implant to be successful, take care of your gums. A study that evaluated dental implant survival rates based on periodontal health concluded that periodontal disease causes a significant risk of implant failure over time. Gum disease is usually progressive, so if you are already showing signs of gingivitis, such as bleeding, swollen or tender gums, start flossing and brushing better now.


Make sure you take the antibiotics that your doctor prescribes after implant surgery. If an infection sets in after the placement of your implant, your implant may not "take." The infection can stop the bone from growing around the implant properly to secure it in place. 


If you smoke cigarettes, quit. Smoking increases your chance of dental implant failure. Chemicals in cigarette smoke, such as nicotine and carbon monoxide, reduce blood flow and oxygen, so your gums may not get the nutrients and oxygen needed for your implant to heal properly.

Consider quitting months before your implant to lessen complications from reduced blood flow. In a study of the influence of smoking on implant survival, dental implants were reviewed five years after they were loaded. The implants were almost twice as likely to fail in smokers as they were in nonsmokers.  

Stress from Bruxism

Bruxism is the grinding or clenching of your teeth that typically occurs as you sleep at night. Reports show that up to 30 percent of first-year implants are complicated by abutment screw loosening. You are probably not consciously aware that you grind your teeth, so you may not be able to stop the grinding at will. However, you can wear a protective mouth guard. The guard can help stop the grinding from loosening a dental implant. 

A dental implant is the closest prosthetic application to a natural tooth. However, implants can fail. If they become loose or infected, they may have to be removed. It is best to minimize factors that contribute to implant failure as much as possible. If you are considering a dental implant, contact your dentist to learn ways that you can help your implant remain firmly in place.