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Bruce M. MacNicol, DDS, MS, FRCD (C)
Michael T. Jackson, BA, DDS, MSc, FRCD (C)
Andrew P. Gater, HBSc, DDS, FRCD (C)
Mohammad Mokhtari, HBSc, DDS, FRCD (C)
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Are You Showing Signs of Implant Rejection?

Posted on 5/27/2017 by Tricia Ramsay
A diagram of how a dental implant works.
Dental implants are currently one of the most popular options available for replacing missing teeth, preferred by dentists and patients alike. They involve a surgical procedure to place titanium rods into the jawbone.

After you heal, the rods become a strong, stable support for one more replacement teeth. For most patients, implants are successful, and provide them with a beautiful, permanent smile. However, some patients may experience rejection.

What Causes Rejection?

Implant rejection can happen as the result of a number of different reasons. One of the biggest reasons for rejection is smoking during healing. They might fail as the result of peri-implantitis, an infection around the implant. The rod may have pierced the sinus cavity.

Perhaps you lacked the necessary bone density. You may be allergic to nickel, which is found in trace amounts in the titanium rods placed in the bone. Or, if you suffer with bruxism, the constant grinding and clenching while healing can unseat the implants. There are warning signs that can alert you to potential failure.


After your surgery is done, some swelling is to be expected. As you heal, though, any swelling should subside. If it does not dissipate, or it becomes worse, this symptom can be indicative of an infection.

Sinus Issues

If an implant on your upper jaw has pierced the sinus cavity, you are at risk for experiencing several complications. This often happens when there is not enough bone mass between the upper jaw and the sinus cavity. Should this happen, you will most likely be subjected to chronic sinus infections.

Loose Crowns

After your implants are placed, they should fuse with the jawbone, creating a strong, stable "root" for the false tooth, or crown. The crown should not move. If you can wiggle it, this is a sign that the implant is not secure. An unsecured implant will not stop bone loss (a stable implant halts bone loss), and will ultimately lead to implant rejection.

Even though implants cannot experience decay, you still need to take care of them just as you would your natural teeth, with regular brushing and flossing. These habits help to reduce plaque and oral bacteria, increasing your chances for success. If you do experience signs of rejection, it is important that you contact our office right away.

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