Dental Implant Failure: Symptoms and Signs


In response to intrinsic and extrinsic adverse factors and the prosthetic rehabilitation technique violation, a person may face an implant failure issue after its implementation. This problem cannot only cause severe discomfort but is potentially harmful to a patient’s health. The complications of dental implant failure pose a threat to the body. With timely assistance, it is possible to avoid serious consequences, restore the general condition, and in the future, conduct the re-implantation procedure.

The essential point to remember is that this condition is not insidious and is evident from the very beginning. Additional diagnostic methods that help confirm the failure include:

  • visual inspection of the oral cavity and the implant site;
  • computed tomography or X-ray examination;
  • orthopantomography;
  • listening to the patient’s complaints about the nature and severity of the symptoms;
  • additional lab tests.

Complications after Dental Implant Surgery

Dental implant failure is an immediate complication that appears after dental implant surgery. It is estimated that the complication prevalence rate is from 1.5 to 3% in patients undergoing this procedure. Initially, when the failure occurs, it causes an inflammatory response which leads to jaw bone destruction.

Tobacco smoking is an example of predisposing patient-dependent factor. Constant contact between the surgical site and the components of tobacco smoke will provoke an implant failure rate up to 60-65%. Regular alcohol consumption can also affect indirectly. Other potential reasons for the implant failure include:

  1. Endogenous or exogenous infection of surgical site.
  2. The immune response to a foreign body leading to implant failure.
  3. Features of dentoalveolar structure.
  4. Reduced local or common immunity and immune deficiency.
  5. Failure to comply with the rules of antisepsis and asepsis during implant surgery.

Other potential risk factors associated with possible implant failure include endocrine disorders, periodontal pathology, bruxism, and prior radiation therapy. The process of an artificial structure failure is similar to periodontitis. These factors, including infection, causes impaired implant-gingival sulcus integrity. This, in turn, triggers an increased inflammatory response and the development of a destructive process in soft tissues and bones.

Failure Options

It is possible to develop a primary classification considering this dental implant surgery complication. Regarding the response time, there are the following types of failure:

  1. Early failure. In this situation, the failure symptoms appear in the time interval between the implant placement and until the moment of the implant outer part fixation.
  2. Delayed failure. As a rule, the typical symptoms of delayed failure appear within the first two years after the permanent implant restoration placement. Poor construction design, bad oral hygiene, and occlusal overload can be the factors causing the delayed failure. Hormonal imbalance also increases the risk of complications.
  3. Late failure. The delayed failure can appear more than two years later from the date of restoration process completion. The main reason for the artificial dental structure rejection is the failure to perform quality oral health care regularly.

Implant Failure Symptoms

For the early stage of an artificial prosthetic structure failure, the typical features are red and swollen mucous membrane in the surgical site and bleeding around the implant during hygienic cleaning. Bleeding can also occur during meals, especially when eating coarse food; patients may complain of bad breath. If a secondary bacterial infection develops, the clinical picture may have other symptoms:

  • increased body temperature;
  • general body intoxication;
  • reduced general condition;
  • swollen submandibular nodes;
  • headache;
  • swelling of soft tissues surrounding the implant.


An X-ray examination and patient’s oral cavity examination is carried out to ensure an accurate diagnosis. When performing computed tomography, areas of softening of bone tissue (osteoporosis) and destructive changes in the bone are determined.

It is essential to distinguish the failure directly from other probable complications arising during implant surgery during the diagnostic process. Such complications include the formation and suppuration of the jaw cyst, osteomyelitis, mucositis, and periostitis.


The team of professionals at the Clinic of Aesthetic Dentistry applies modern, safe prevention methods and treatment of dental implant failure. As a rule, a doctor removes an implant, performs debridement, and prescribes complex drug therapy to improve the general condition and prevent complications. The duration of treatment is individual for each clinical case and can take up to 14 days.

How Long Do Upper Jaw Implants Take to Heal?

Even without minimal complications, the survival time of an artificial dental implant in the upper jaw can range from 3 months to six months. Various complications, as well as a patient’s features, can slow down the engraftment process.

Due to its anatomical features (rich blood supply and innervation), the upper jaw makes the rehabilitation process challenging. For comparison, on average, the artificial teeth in the lower jaw heal from 2 to 4 months without complications. The time limits are approximate, and implant surgery’s success depends not only on the doctors but also on the patient since oral care is one of the critical reasons for implant failure and the development of complications.

Many patients who have experienced dental implant failure do not renounce the idea of replantation. The question of re-implantation is patient-specific due to different causes and consequences of implant failure. The only reason preventing the re-implantation process is the contraindications about which the patient did not inform the doctor before the initial implant surgery.

If the patient’s body rejects foreign bodies, then even the doctor’s professional excellence during implant surgery will not be a success.