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5 Signs of Failed Osseointegration in Your Dental Implants

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Dental implants have a high success rate, but sometimes the jawbone will fail to fuse with the artificial root. This problem is referred to as failed osseointegration.  Osseointegration (the fusing of implant with jawbone) is vital for the success of your implant, so any failure needs to be addressed right away. In some cases, bone grafts can be successful in saving the implant, but you need to act fast.

With that in mind, here are five signs of failed osseointegration to watch out for.

1. Feeling of Mobility

The most obvious symptom associated with failed osseointegration is movement around the implant. Of course, any serious movement is going to be a cause for concern, but it's not like you'll be able to wobble your tooth implant back and forth like a loose tooth if the bone doesn't take. Instead, you may notice a slight sense of movement, especially when you're eating. Don't test that out by pressing against the implant to check for movement – instead, take the problem to your dentist or oral surgeon.

2. Strange Appearance

Sometimes we don't notice a small amount of movement in a failed implant, but we may notice a change when we look in the mirror. It's a lot easier to check when the implant is towards the front of the mouth, but you can always lift up your lip to take a look at how the implant is sitting. If it seems a little off, speak to your dentist.

3. Chewing Problems

If your implant is shifting even a tiny bit, you may notice something strange happening when you chew your food. Even if you don't feel the implant itself moving, you may find your bite shifting a little as you eat. Especially around the implant, teeth may meet each other slightly differently.

4. Signs of Infection

When the bone fails to fuse with the implant, small gaps can become a place for bacteria to develop. In fact, bacteria can be a cause of failed osseointegration as well as a symptom. When an infection develops, you may notice significant pain or discomfort, especially while eating. It's also common to notice a marked swelling around the implant.

5. Bad Breath

Another symptom of infection is bad breath, but bad breath can be caused by failed osseointegration even when no infection is present. This is due to food packing. When you eat, food debris can get stuck around your teeth, but it should be removed when you drink water, brush or floss. Unfortunately, food debris often becomes trapped when your implant moves slightly throughout the day. Unable to escape, it will start to rot and produce an unpleasant taste and smell.