Can dental implants fail after 7 years? I received 4 dental implants in 2010, and one of them is loose. There is also a lump just below where the crown meets my gum. I should also say that I feel the slightest wiggle in the implant. This is really bothering me because I like 8 hours away from the dentist who did the implants. As I think of it, I’m not sure that he is in the same location. I have to look it up. Until the last month or so, I’ve almost forgotten that I have dental implants. A little discomfort one evening as I was flossing my teeth gave me the clue. I just wanted to check with you first before I go to a dentist to take a look at it. I don’t want to be told that I need a new implant if it isn’t necessary. Just the thought of the time and monetary commitment is making me nervous. How could I have no problems at all and then 7 years later have a loose implant? – Joseph
Although it is rare, it is possible to have inflammation and infection around an implant that you’ve had for years. Usually an infection occurs within weeks or months of receiving a dental implant.
What Is Peri-Implantitis?
It is infectious disease that causes inflammation of the gum and bone that support an established dental implant.
It’s important to have a highly skilled implant dentist take a look at your implant site. If it’s left unchecked there are several risks:
- The infection can worsen
- Your jawbone can get infected or begin to dissolve
- The implant can completely loosen and need to be replaced
There are several factors that can cause peri-implantitis
- Smoking – It constricts blood vessels in your gum tissue and can cause inflammation and swelling
- Loss of bone density – Certain medication, hormonal changes, or medical conditions can cause bone loss and interfere with the stability of dental implants
- Periodontal disease – Unhealthy gum tissue will pull away from dental implants. Just as tissue that is infected or inflamed can cause natural teeth to loosen, it can also cause dental imnplants to loosen.
If your current dentist is aware that you have dental implants, he or she should ensure they are properly cared for and maintained. The issue you described should have been noticed during your dental cleaning and exam.
We recommend that you promptly schedule an appointment with a board-certified prosthodontist. He or she is trained and experienced in tooth preservation and restoration. The sooner you act, the less time and money it will cost to correct the issue.
This post is sponsored by American Board certified prosthodontist and Naperville implant dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.