A little over a year ago, I had to have a tooth pulled that was part of a dental bridge. Because two of my molars would then be gone, my dentist said the best solution was to get dental implants. I went through a whole ordeal of bone grafts and surgery and many months of healing before he could put the tooth on top. Then, within about two weeks, one snapped off. The whole screw part broke right where it came out of my jawbone. My dentist said it was a fluke and that there was space to do another and offered to do it at no charge. While that one was healing, the other broke off. So then I finally get the teeth put on top of those a couple months ago and one has already snapped off in the same place. My doctor said he’s not sure what’s happening, but he offered to fix it again. I don’t think I want to. This has been horrible. Is there any way to ensure success if I have the dental implant replaced again?
Moira in Iowa
Dental implants are quite an undertaking, and it’s disheartening when things go awry. However, they generally have a high success rate, and cases like yours are very rare.
Generally when a dental implant fails, it’s because of an infection, difficulty healing, or failure to integrate into the bone. Because most of them today are made of titanium or a titanium alloy, they’re incredibly durable and instances of actual breakage are mostly unheard of. However, there are a few dentists who purchase low-quality parts in an effort to save money. In reality, there are only a handful of reputable companies that make high-quality materials and the post alone can cost hundreds from one of them. At the same time, manufacturers in other countries have less stringent guidelines and can therefore sell a low-quality piece for under a dollar. It’s worth asking your dentist who his supplier is and researching the company. It may be a known issue with the dental implant parts he used. On the flip side, one would think that he would have taken note of this after the first two broke, and he would have switched companies.
The fact that you’re still having trouble strongly suggests that there is something wrong in the way he’s placing them. For this reason, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion from a doctor who specializes in dental implants. He can troubleshoot and may be able to pinpoint the underlying cause for sure.