Despite dental implants having a high success rate, an implant is not immune from problems. An extremely small percentage of implants or teeth made on implants can exhibit problems with the bone or gum.
Most important is prevention from this occurring. Dental implants must be placed in areas where bone and gum are abundant. If the area does not have enough bone or gum, a bone or gum graft should be performed. Bone and gum grafts are ideally done before or during the dental implant surgery.
The most common patients that have problems are those that did not have bone or gum grafts when advised. Unfortunately, some dentists actually coerce their patients from having these grafts. Sure, an implant can be placed in thin bone, but the long term consequences are significant. All implants look and feel great on day one, but how will they stand the test of time?
The most common long term problem you may have is a loss of bone or recession of the gum around the implant itself. I have successfully treated many “ailing” dental implants by adding bone or gum to the area to correct it. Sometimes, grafting is not necessary, and just a minor adjustment to the bite will reverse or stop the situation. Unfortunately, dental implants do not have any “nerves” to tell you there is a problem.
I suggest regular dental visits, x-rays and checking your bite to maintain your investment for the long-term.
My own success rate with dental implants is 99.6% over the last ten years.