Bad Dental Implants: Signs, Symptoms, & What To Do Next

Bad Dental Implants: Signs, Symptoms, & What To Do Next

In 2021, about 3.11% of individuals reported dental implant failure after five years. While this percentage may seem small, the cost and procedure of getting dental implants make it a significant concern for those who undergo it. Therefore, it is crucial to recognize the signs of bad dental implants. 

If you suspect such signs, this is the right place for you. Here, we will discuss the common signs and symptoms of compromised dental implants and what to do if you have them. So, keep reading!

Signs & Symptoms of Bad Dental Implants

Bad dental implants can become a nuisance if ignored for a long time. Here are a few common signs and symptoms of bad dental implants.

Pain & Discomfort

It’s expected to experience some amount of pain after undergoing dental implant surgery, as a foreign object is drilled into your jaw. However, if the pain persists beyond the first few weeks and comes in waves, it may be a sign of a bad dental implant. If the pain is extremely severe and can’t be managed by the post-op analgesics prescribed by the dentist, it’s recommended to consult them immediately.


If your gums appear red, swollen, or inflamed after 7-10 days of the implant procedure, it is a sign of infection. The swelling might be intraoral or extraoral. If not treated promptly, the infection can invade tissue spaces and even the bloodstream. 

Loosening of the Implant

The placement of an implant is followed by its fusion with the bone through a process called osseointegration. It can take a few weeks or even months. However, if your implant feels loose or wobbly even after months, it is a symptom of a bad dental implant. A moving implant can cause bone resorption or even infection if left untreated. 

Gum Recession

Inflammation of the soft tissues around the implant is called peri-implantitis. It can lead to gum recession and, ultimately, loosening of the crown. A receded gum can be visualized by a longer crown than the adjacent teeth. 

Bite Changes

The quality of the implant that differentiates it from other tooth restorative options is its similarity to the natural tooth. However, if you feel that your normal bite has changed and you have difficulty chewing or hearing TMJ clicking after getting an implant, it might be due to wrong angulation or the crown size.


Very rarely, a dental implant can cause sinus issues. Since the maxilla is closely related to the overlying sinuses, an implant can sometimes perforate the sinus or nasal floor, causing inflammation and signs of sinusitis such as a blocked nose, painful and swollen facial features and sinus headaches. 

What Causes Bad Dental Implants?

Various factors can cause bad dental implants, some of them being:

  • Infection: Infections are among dental implants’ most common side effects, causing early dental implant failure. When they progress, they cause peri-implantitis.
  • Poor Technique: Iatrogenic causes of dental implant failure are relatively common. It includes the wrong placement angle and size of the implant. Moreover, a dentist might implant a tooth near a nerve, causing nerve damage. It is felt as tingling and numbness in the affected area. 
  • Failure of Osseointegration: If the osseointegration process fails, the tooth can stay mobile and eventually fall off the oral cavity.
  • Allergic Reactions: Among the drawbacks of dental implants, allergies are an important one. Sometimes, your body might reject the titanium alloy implant. It manifests as pain, swelling, and inflammation. 
  • Trauma to the Face: Facial injury can result in loosening, extrusion, or even breakage of the implant inside the oral cavity. 
  • Habits: Certain habits like smoking and grinding of teeth are harmful to the implant and can cause pain due to lesser blood flow and excess pressure.
  • Poor maintenance: Not caring for oral hygiene after implant placement can also result in peri-implantitis. 

What To Do Next?

If you are experiencing any symptoms of a bad dental implant, it is crucial to catch them early. The first step is to keep the implant area in check and contact your surgeon immediately. It’s important to stay calm and not panic. Your doctor will first examine the implant and then create a treatment plan based on the severity of the issue. 

Treatment can be as simple as taking painkillers or antibiotics to settle the infection. Most complications are manageable, such as gum recession, which may require tissue grafts. Bite problems caused by high points on the crown can be trimmed. However, if the damage is irreversible, the implant may need to be removed. 

After a healing period, the surgeon may place another implant; if that’s not possible, they will consider other restorative options.

Can Dental Implants Cause Cancer?

According to the research published in the American Journal of Implantology, dental implants do not cause cancer. They are formulated with biocompatible materials, most commonly titanium. It has been tested thoroughly for any adverse effects and is considered safe for the oral environment.

How to Prevent Bad Dental Implants?

Preventing bad dental implants is easily possible if you choose an experienced oral surgeon and take the aftercare seriously. Here are some tips to maintain a healthy implant:

  • Stick to a soft food diet for a few weeks after the implant surgery.
  • Brush and floss regularly.
  • Use a toothbrush with softer bristles to prevent gum recession. 
  • Quit habits like smoking and beetle nut chewing.
  • Incorporate all the necessary nutrients in your diet, and avoid foods that weaken the immune system.
  • Do not put excessive pressure on your implant while chewing. 


All in all, being aware of the signs and symptoms of a bad dental implant is crucial to maintaining a healthy oral environment. Although not common, bad dental implants can affect your health negatively. If you notice any changes in your dental implant, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist immediately. Staying proactive is the key to a brighter smile.

For more information regarding dental implants in Montclair, NJ, and their complications, contact us at Dr.Arthur Yeh & Associates. Our dental experts are always ready to cater to your dental implant needs in Montclair, NJ.