Implant Failure

We know that dental implants have a reported success rate of 97%. Here in the Marylebone Implant Centre we have a 99% success rate. But what happens to the other 1%? But what could lead to the failure of that other 1% and what happens next? These are frequent questions that our patients ask us frequently. First we need to separate the failure in early failure and late failure. An early implant failure usually happens during the first 3 months after the implants was placed and is not integrated yet. In this case either the implant has suffered an impact and if it is not very stable from the beginning it can fail, or, if the area where the implant was placed develops an infection the implant could also fail. There are then other not so frequently reasons why implants can fail, such has some medications, if the patients smokes or takes drugs, etc... In the case of a late failure, after the implant is integrated, what typically happens is that has a result of poor higiene, uncontrolled gum disease on the remains teeth, smoking, etc... the implant can start to loose bone around it and eventually it will loose all the bone support and fails. Usually if the implant fails, we have to carefully remove it under local anaesthetic (with the patient awake). This is a very simple procedure, painless, and after cleaning the area we will need to wait a couple of months in order to place again another implant. In some occasions we can place straight away a wider diameter implant in the same location were the implant failed. The implant is then sent to the company to be analysed in order for us to draw some conclusions about the reason for the implant failure. Once the new implant heals and integrates, the final porcelain crown/bridge will be done and fitted. It is very rare that the same implant fails twice in the same location.