I recently had six dental implants placed in preparation of implant overdentures. Since then, I’ve had four of them fall out. It’s only been a week. Here are my questions. First, should I be able to get a refund on the ones that fell out? Second, are the others safe if they’ve lasted this long? Three, can the ones that fell out be replaced?
I don’t know who your dentist is, but you definitely need a new one. I cannot believe he hasn’t already offered you a refund. You should not even have to ask. You should not only have a refund on the ones that fell out, but all of them. That leads me to your second question. No, your dental implants are not safe. A week is hardly any time and given the fact that a majority of them have already fallen out, I would not hold out hope for these.
To put this in perspective. A decent dentist with experience in dental implants has a 97% success rate with dental implants. Those that do fail usually take over a year before anything like that happens. Instead of a 97% success rate, your dentist has a 33% success rate. That is completely unacceptable. I definitely want you to ask for a full refund.
Reasons for Dental Implant Failure
There are quite a few reasons why dental implants can fail. I don’t know which one of them was the reason yours did, but it will give you some possibilities. Then, we’ll go over what you can do to get sturdy tooth replacements.
- Development of infection. One of the causes of this is having a dental implant that was improperly fitted. Generally, an infection is accompanied by pain and/or a fever. You did not mention either of these, so I don’t think this will be your issue, though it is always a possibility.
- Diagnostic shortcuts. Before your procedure, your dentist should have done a number of diagnostics, including x-rays and a CT scan. This is, in part to make sure you have enough bone structure to retain your dental implants.
- Incorrect placement of the fixtures. Some dentists try to up their profits by ordering their dental implant parts outside of the United States. While they will be several hundred dollars cheaper, they are not made to the same specifications we require in order to protect patients.
- Improper placement of the implants. If a dentist places the implant incorrectly, it has a high likelihood of failure.
- Premature loading. Before your dentist places either a dental crown or a complete denture on the implants, there needs to be enough time for the bone to integrate with it. If a dentist does this too soon, it places too much weight and pressure on the implant, which will cause it to come loose and fail.
The first thing I want you to do is see a skilled implant dentist for an evaluation of these implants. He or she may be able to tell you why they are failing. Additionally, I would ask for the full refund. You shouldn’t have much problem receiving that. After all, a basic expectation of dental work is that it will stay in.
To answer your final question, yes, these can be replaced. I don’t want you to just replace the ones that have fallen out already, but all of them. Be aware that you will need one additional procedure before moving forward. In order to retain your implants, your body will need enough bone. When implants fail, they leave a hole in that bone structure. Because of that, you will need some bone grafting done. This will replace the missing bone and give you the structure you need to keep your next set of dental implants in place. Then, you will finally be able to complete your implant overdentures and have a secure bite and smile.
This blog is brought to you by Lexington, KY Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Fred Arnold.