778818 DentalStockPhoto 15 072420Dental implants have a long-term success rate of over 95% and are more

predictable than most procedures in the medical and dental fields. Still, all implant procedures have a failure risk, but your oral surgeon uses specific techniques to reduce the risk. If a dental implant fails, can your surgeon repair it, or will they need to replace it?

Can a Surgeon Repair Your Failed Implant?

If the dental implant or connector on your dental implant breaks or is defective, your oral surgeon will replace—not repair—it. But a damaged implant fixture is not the only cause of implant failure. And depending on what caused the problem, treatment can involve more than replacing the implant.

What Affects Treatment Options for Dental Implant Failure?

The timing of dental implant failure helps identify its cause and how to treat it. The  American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons describes the issue as either short- or long-term failure and explains treatment options.

Short-Term Dental Implant Failure

Short-term or early dental implant failure occurs within three to four months after implant placement if your jawbone and implant fail to integrate. Factors that can cause the integration to fail may include:

  • Smoking
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Low bone density
  • Implant location
  • Quality or type of implant fixtures


After examining the implant site and taking a 3-D cone beam CT scan, your surgeon will explain your treatment, which may include:

  • Removing the implant
  • Treating diseased gum or bone tissue
  • Repairing the implant site with a bone graft
  • Waiting three to four months for the bone to heal
  • Placing the new implant in the optimal location
  • Alternative treatment

Long-Term Dental Implant Failure

After your jawbone and the implant integrate, a dental implant can still fail. Broken or loose implant fixtures may be at fault, but peri-implantitis is usually the cause of late or long-term implant failure. The condition results from a bacteria buildup around the implant that leads to these issues:

  • Chronic gum infection, inflammation, and bleeding
  • Bone loss
  • Loose implants


If peri-implantitis or a damaged implant caused your implant to fail, your oral surgeon would explain your treatment plan, which may include:

  • Removing the implant
  • Treating peri-implantitis, if applicable
  • Repairing the area with a bone graft
  • Waiting three to four months of healing time for the bone to grow
  • Placing the new implant in the optimal position
  • Alternative treatment

Will Your Dental Implant Replacement Be Successful?

Your oral surgeon will use a 3-D cone beam CT scan and visual inspection to determine the cause of your complication. Afterward, your surgeon will do the following:

  • Explain how you can reduce any risk factors that may have led to implant failure
  • Determine the best location for your replacement dental implant
  • Monitor your new dental implant closely

Reliable Prevention or Treatment for Implant Failure

You can trust the knowledge and experience of our surgeons at the Maryland Center for Oral Surgery and Dental Implants in Baltimore. If you have experienced dental implant failure or want to avoid it, contact us for a consultation or an exam. One of our surgeons will explain your options for first-time or replacement dental implants.