Can a Tooth Implant be Removed?

Posted by Dr. Michael Choi on Oct 20 2018, 08:31 AM

It's very rare for a tooth implant to lead to complications, but it is a possibility. Most installations of dental implants are successful and fast when the procedure is performed by a skilled oral surgeon. Other factors that can affect the successful use of a dental implant include the positioning of the device and the bone tissue health of the patient.

When a dental implant fails, it is essential to remove – and possibly replace – it before more serious issues arise. The area affected is repaired once the implants have been taken out. If there's still enough healthy bone tissue left over, a new tooth implant can be installed.

How a dental implant is removed

There are two techniques that are commonly used to remove dental implants. One of these requires the use of a cutting instrument called a trough bur. This device is used to safely cut the bone tissue that's holding the implant in place. Only a small portion of bone tissue is cut, typically no more than 1 mm. That is often enough to loosen the implant so that it can be removed.

Once the implant is removed, the area is cleaned. The oral surgeon will then examine the area to see if bone grafting is required to replace lost bone tissue. It is necessary to restore the area in preparation for a replacement.

Depending on the position of the dental prosthetic, some portions of healthy bone tissue might be removed to clear the area. The process isn’t traumatic or painful in any way. The most the patent will feel is heat as the trough bur cuts through the bone.

The more tech-savvy way to remove implants nowadays is by using a device known as an adapter. This allows the oral surgeon to remove the implant without having to cut through bone tissue. The adapter is a device that can generate high amounts of torque which loosens and removes the implant from the bone.

However, not all implants can be removed solely using an adapter. At times, the bone tissue holding it in place has formed a powerful bond that requires removing some of it to loosen the implant. For such cases, a very small portion of bone tissue is removed before an adapter is used to pull out the tooth.

A huge advantage of removing implants with the use of an adapter is the fact it typically doesn’t involve the removal of healthy bone tissue, so a new implant can be installed immediately.

Taking care of dental implants

Complications with a dental implant can also be caused by the patient failing to take proper care of his/her mouth. Implants do not have specialized cleaning routines, but it is still up to the patient to practice good oral hygiene. That includes brushing twice a day, using an antibacterial mouthwash, and flossing at least once a day. Regular visits to the dentist are also important since this gives the oral professional the opportunity to detect any developing complications in their early stages.

Want to learn more about removing tooth implants? Schedule a consultation with one of our dentists today!

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