We are able to help patients who are referred to us with implant problems for advice, treatment, or re-treatment.

We treat many patients every year who have been referred to us with bone loss as a result of failed implant treatments who have not been able to find treatment elsewhere.

Peri-implantitis is an issue which is becoming more common, simply because more and more patients have been treated with dental implants over the years. Sadly, we often find that the cause of the implant problems these patients have is as a result of low cost and inadequate implants or implant components!

We want patients to have an improved quality of life from their treatments, which is why Dawood & Tanner Implant treatments only use high quality implants and implant components which are assembled in our in-house laboratory, thus making them highly successful and rarely subject to failure. We also ensure that our patients understand the commitment they need to make in maintaining their implants with regular hygiene and check-ups.

Other contributing factors to Implant Failure

Implant failure is a little more common at the back of the mouth, where the jawbone tends to be ‘softer’ and there may be less bone available. Implants that fail outright usually do so before the definitive crown and bridgework restorations have been completed.

Other factors that increase the chance of implant failure and peri-implant problems are:

  • High biting forces from clenching or grinding teeth (‘bruxism’) which can cause bone loss around implants
  • Smoking - someone who smokes may have poor bone quality and a poor healing capacity, and that can mean that an implant simply does not ‘take’
  • Patients with diabetes can have slower healing rates, which can inhibit osseointegration
  • A patient who is not in the best state of health or has dental or gum problems near the implant, can be more prone to having problems with their implants

When there is substantial bone loss, it usually leads to complete failure of the implant and restoration. This can make re-treatment more complicated, but we will endeavour to find an appropriate and effective solution.

Peri-implantitis

Gum disease itself does not seem to be a cause of peri-implantitis, as some patients with very severe gum disease have had no problems at all with their implants, whereas patients with no previous gum issues can develop the condition.

Initially there can be many similarities with periodontal (gum) disease around teeth, for instance, the first sign of a problem may be soreness or bleeding from the gum – ‘mucositis’. Treatment at this stage may prevent progression to peri-implantitis, when progressive bone loss starts to become an issue, and can ultimately lead to catastrophic loss of the supporting bone as well as the implant or implants. Peri-implantitis can take years to develop, and progresses slowly, sometimes in fits and starts.

If inappropriate materials or techniques have been used, this may only become evident later on, which is why it is always best to ensure that you have the best possible implant treatment right from the outset.

The gum is inflamed and bleeds easily. A probe sinks into a pocket between the gum and the implant restoration.

Gum inflammation caused by the use of non-implant grade materials

Treatment

Treating peri-implantitis can be extremely challenging.

We begin with meticulous hygiene to improve comfort and slow down the progression of the condition. This consists of meticulously cleaning under the gum of the implant using ultrasonics and jet-polishing. There may also be grafting with bone scaffold materials in order to replace the missing bone tissue or thicken the surrounding gum. This treatment can calm the peri-implant condition, allowing for survival of the implant crown or bridgework.

If the problem is persistent, or there has been advanced bone loss, then there is little alternative but to remove and replace an ailing implant, which will also mean the loss of the implant restoration. In these circumstances, this may be accompanied by a great deal of bone loss, although we will generally find a solution which may involve the use of grafting, special custom implants such as Zygomatic implants, or specially made short implants.

Implant treatments are a lifelong commitment, it is important to also consider the potential for short-term failure or longer-term problems, and to do your utmost to maintain your implants with daily care and regualr hygiene appointments. These highly biocompatible materials and precisely engineered implant parts make a great difference to the long-term outcome of your implant treatment.

Failed implant; a poor quality, inappropriate crown has been provided using non-implant grade materials.
Failed implant; a poor quality, inappropriate crown has been provided using non-implant grade materials.