3 Reasons Your Dental Implant Could Become Less Secure

If you have a dental implant or plan to have one installed, you are probably thrilled at the thought of restoring your missing tooth. A dental implant restoration replaces the crown and root of your lost tooth. The implant screw, which acts as a prosthetic dental root, secures the implant within the bone of the jaw. Still, an implant may fail and have to be replaced in certain instances. Once it fails or becomes loose within the bone, the implant cannot be reset or stabilized again. Here are a few reasons that your dental implant could become less secure.


If you smoke, you could be placing your dental implant at risk, especially during the initial healing stages. Smoking can affect multiple aspects of a dental implant's healing process. Since smokers have a decreased amount oxygen in their blood, the implant wound may not receive the oxygen needed to heal quickly. A delay in healing gives the implant more opportunities to shift during the most crucial stages of healing. The healing of a dental implant within the bone is called osseointegration. During this process, the implant fuses or integrates with the jawbone. Without proper osseointegration, an implant never fully stabilizes.

Smoking also inflames the gums and other soft tissues of the mouth that support a dental implant.  The resulting condition, which is called peri-implantitis, can also cause implant failure. 

Additionally, smoking increases the chance of an implant wound becoming infected.


Periodontitis, which is a severe case of gum disease, can also cause an implant to fail. Gum disease often begins as mild inflammation from poor dental hygiene. In the early stages, the condition can be quickly corrected by improving the cleanliness of the mouth through proper brushing and flossing. However, if left unchecked, early gum disease, such as gingivitis, can progress. The progression can lead to greater inflammation, gum recession and even bone and tooth loss. If enough bone is lost, the jawbone may not be dense enough to hold the dental implant firmly in place.

Playing Contact Sports Without a Guard

Like a natural tooth, a dental implant can be knocked loose by an inadvertent blow during a physical game. If you play contact sports, such as football or basketball, it is important to protect your implant by wearing a mouth guard during play.

Click for more ways to help prevent dental implant failure, and talk to a dentist in your area about implant restoration.