The success rate of dental implants is as high as 98%; they are nearly perfect. However, there is a small chance that something can go wrong. In fact, in extreme cases, your dental implants may fail and fall off. So what can cause such extreme failures? There are several possible reasons, including these two:

Implant Overloading

It takes time for the dental implant to integrate firmly with the anchor bone. How long it takes depends on different factors such as your overall health, your oral health, and your bone quality. However, expect an average of three to four months for the lower jaw and five to six months for the upper jaw. If you place too much stress on the implant before the integration is complete, it may loosen and even fall off. Overloading (putting too much pressure on the implants) can be caused by tooth grinding, teeth clenching, and eating hard foods before the implants heal.

Prevent implant overloading by going easy on your dental implants while they are still healing; stick to soft foods. Also, if you have a problem with teeth grinding or clenching, tell your dentist about it. The dentist may prescribe dental guards to prevent you from clenching or grinding your teeth while sleeping.

Dental Infection

A dental infection is your worst enemy if you are recovering from a dental implant. An infection occurs if you already had an oral infection before the implant treatment and the antibiotic treatments failed to get rid of all the bacteria. It can also occur due to a fresh bacterial attack after the implant procedure—for example, if you don't practice a high level of oral hygiene.

Whatever the source of your infection, it doesn't augur well for your implant if the infection reaches the jawbones. The bacteria will interfere with your implant's healing process, weakening the bond between the implant and the bones and hence loosening the implant. In the worst-case scenario, your body may then treat the implant as a foreign object and expel it.

The best preventive measure is to ensure that you have good oral health before getting an implant. After the implant process, follow all your dentist's directions (such as good oral hygiene) to prevent an infection. Lastly, get immediate treatment for all your dental problems—even the seemingly minor ones—if your implant is still healing.

The fact that dental implants have huge success rates doesn't mean you can get an implant, sit back, and relax for a complete healing. You have to work for your implant's success, with the main work being the maintenance of impeccable oral hygiene and avoidance of implant overloading. For more information on your tooth replacement options, contact a dentist like Scott W. Murphy, D.M.D., P.A.