Repeating A Dental Implant Procedure At A ‘Failed’ Site

If an implant fails, can another be placed in the same area?

As with any dental or medical procedure, there is always at least an outside risk that it may not work as hoped. This applies to dental implants too, and although their success rate is very high, it isn’t unknown for them to fail and to either fall out or have to be removed because they are failing.

This can be a devastating blow to a patient who had set their hopes on having this popular and effective tooth replacement method and was looking forward to their new found confidence and ability to eat as they want.

In today’s Cygnet Dental Practice blog, we take a look at the possibility of repeating this procedure where the initial implant placement was unsuccessful.

Why do implants fail?

Before we look at whether a ‘repeat’ procedure is possible, it is worth looking at why not all dental implant placements are successful. In the early days, this was a relatively unknown procedure and the technology was not as developed as it is now. Because of this, implant failure would have been more common. With modern 3D imaging and scanning, along with the availability of more refined tools and implants, this procedure is rarely unsuccessful when it is performed by an experienced implant dentist.

There are a few main areas where implant failure may be more likely to occur.

The first of these is where a ‘cheap dental implant’ offer is taken up without due diligence. Simply trusting a random advertisement without investigating further is asking for potential trouble. We have covered this is more detail in a previous blog but, briefly, it can be difficult to ascertain the level of skills and experience where procedures are carried out abroad. There is also a risk that a few corners may have been cut to save money. One area in particular that can affect the outcome, is where cheaper and inferior implants are used. These may bond less well with the bone and subsequently fail.

Another area is where the patient has failed to follow the guidelines for looking after their new implant, especially in the first three month period where the implant and bone start to bond. General poor oral hygiene and continuing habits such as smoking, against the dentist’s advice, mean that dental implant failure is significantly higher.

Very occasionally, a person may simply reject an implant but fortunately these failures are quite rare.

Repeating the implant procedure

Not everybody will want to repeat this treatment where it has failed initially. Some, after a period of reflection though may decide that they do wish to do this and are prepared to choose an experienced dentist to place them and also follow the aftercare instructions more closely too. Where this is the case, our Wickford dental team are happy to discuss this with you and examine you to ascertain whether we can place a new implant in the same area.

The main stumbling block to repeating this procedure is the state and condition of the part of the bone that the implant needs to be placed into. There are two key issues here. Firstly, depending on the length of time since the implant failed, and perhaps, whether you had needed a bone graft for the first one, there may not be sufficient bone structure into which an implant can be placed.

Secondly, if poor aftercare was the reason for the failure, there may be some residual periodontal disease that will need to be treated first.

Consultation and examination

It is impossible to say, on paper, whether a new implant placement is possible. You will need to arrange a consultation with our implant team and undergo a thorough examination of the site and by using x-rays and scans we will be able to determine the condition of the bone structure.

Where periodontitis is detected, this will need to be treated first. The bone area will need to be cleaned and the dentist happy that the bone and general mouth area is healthy enough to proceed. Where there is insufficient bone, we will investigate and discuss the possibility of rebuilding it using a bone graft. This will add additional time to the procedure, but without it an implant placement may not be possible.

There is little doubt that dental implants offer the most effective and long lasting way to replace a missing tooth. Anyone considering this procedure is recommended to use a qualified dentist in the UK and not risk a cheaper procedure abroad. We do believe though, that where a patient has had a failed procedure, they should still have the opportunity to have it re-done where this is practical and possible. If you are in that situation and would like to discuss this with us, please call the Cygnet Dental Practice in Wickford, to arrange a consultation, on 01268 733078.