Dental implants are successful in more than 95% of cases. However, in rare instances, they can fail, perhaps due to infection, trauma, or other unfortunate circumstances. If one of yours is no longer functioning as it should, your dentist or oral surgeon may determine that removing the failed implant is the best course of action. Let’s discuss what you can expect from this procedure.
The Details Vary from Case to Case
Every patient is unique, so the details of implant removal surgery vary from case to case. There are a number of factors that can impact the difficulty and the complexity of the procedure, including:
- How much time has passed since your implant placement procedure. The longer the implants have been in your mouth, the more secure their bond with your jawbone. Removing implants from the mouths of patients who have had them for a long time may be challenging.
- Where in the mouth the failed implant is located. Generally speaking, removing implants from the upper jaw is easier than removing them from the lower jaw.
- Nearby structures. Some implants are very close to nerves or other critical structures, which means that removing them requires extra caution and care.
- The size and shape of the implants. Long, narrow implants tend to be harder to extract than shorter, wider ones.
The Removal Procedure
The oral surgeon who performs your removal surgery will prepare by using advanced imaging equipment to see the implant and nearby oral structures. Once they know what to expect during the procedure, they can get to work on removing it.
During your surgical appointment, you can expect to feel little to nothing; sedation and anesthesia can ensure your comfort. Your dental team will be careful to cause as little damage as possible to nearby tissues when they are extracting the implant. They may also perform a bone graft to strengthen your jaw. In rare cases, a new implant can be placed right after a failed one is removed. Most of the time, though, a healing period is required before a patient is eligible to once again enjoy implant-supported tooth replacement.
After the Surgery
Your oral surgeon will give you detailed instructions to help you enjoy a smooth recovery. You may need to alter your diet, take medications, and get plenty of rest. At your follow-up appointments, your surgical team will monitor your jawbone’s health and perhaps plan for future procedures to replace the extracted implant.
The prospect of getting a dental implant removed may seem a bit intimidating. However, as long as you entrust your care to a qualified oral surgery team, you can rightly expect a smooth experience that moves you toward improved oral health.
Meet the Practice
Dr. Steve Koo has been an oral surgeon since 2007. Along with Drs. Thomas Weil and William Shepard, he provides a range of services, including dental implant placement, dental implant removal, and more. If you have questions about such procedures, our team would be pleased to speak with you. Contact our Houston office at 713-783-5560.