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Dental Implant Failure & Salvage – Wauwatosa, WI

Get Your Restored Smile Back on Track


We often recommend dental implants to patients because this treatment has a strong track record of success. However, there is still a slight chance that something could go wrong with your new prosthetic tooth roots and their restorations. If you ever start to suspect that all is not well with your dental implants, contact us right away. Our Wauwatosa dental team will thoroughly evaluate the situation, determine the cause of the problem, and design a dental implant salvage treatment plan to get your restored smile back on track.

Why Do Dental Implants Fail?

Illustration of receding gum around a dental implant

An infection known as peri-implantitis is the most common culprit behind dental implant failure. It occurs when bacteria attack the tissue surrounding an implant. Over time, it can cause so much damage that the implant loosens and no longer functions properly. In many cases, poor oral hygiene is a major contributor to the development of peri-implantitis.

Other potential causes of dental implant failure include:

  • Injury, such as that caused by teeth grinding or an accident
  • Failed osseointegration (failure of the jawbone to bond with an implant)
  • Underlying medical conditions that adversely affect the body’s ability to support dental implants

Symptoms of a Failed Dental Implant

Man with hand on his cheek, suffering from oral pain

Keep in mind that dental implant failure can occur at any time. It might happen soon after your initial placement surgery or years — perhaps even decades — down the road. Therefore, you should always remain alert for signs that something is wrong with your prosthetic teeth. Here are some symptoms that you should be on the lookout for:

  • Unusual or severe pain. After you recover from your dental implant surgery, you should enjoy pain-free function from your implants. Severe or unusual pain merits a call to our office.
  • Difficulty chewing. You should find it easy to eat virtually any food with your dental implants. Struggles in this area indicate the need for professional assistance.
  • Signs of infection. Redness, swelling, pus, and gum recession are some major red flags that could point to peri-implantitis.
  • A loose implant. This could be a problem with your restoration or with the implant itself.

How Dental Implant Salvage Works

Patient having friendly conversation with his dentist

Schedule an appointment with our team as soon as you believe that something is amiss with your dental implants. Delays might allow the problem to worsen, and we would prefer to address the situation in the most conservative manner possible.

During your appointment, we will examine your mouth and use imaging equipment in order to understand what is happening beneath your gumline. Once we learn about the problem, we will be able to recommend your next steps. You might need something as simple as a course of antibiotics or a new restoration. In other cases, it is necessary to completely remove a failing implant. Later, after a recovery period and other procedures, it might be possible to place an entirely new implant.