Can Dental Implants be Removed?

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Dental implants are supposed to last a lifetime. However, in certain cases, they fail and must be removed.

Can Dental Implants be Removed?

Removal is similar to a tooth extraction. Below we will talk about implants, why they sometimes fail, and how they are removed…

Understanding Dental Implants and Reasons for Removal

Dental implants are artificial, titanium, or ceramic prosthetic devices inserted into your jawbone through surgery to replace one or multiple missing teeth with a denture.

Unlike other prosthesis alternatives, dental implants permanently attach to your bone, recovering your tooth function and aesthetics. However, their success depends on numerous factors that can increase or lower their positive outcomes. 

One of the most crucial aspects considered during dental implant procedures is the healing process called osseointegration.

Every that your dentist does or considers throughout the implant therapy aims to increase osseointegration success. This healing process ensures that the implant attaches to your jawbone and behaves like a natural tooth. 

Reasons for Considering Dental Implant Removal

When osseointegration fails, your body starts rejecting the new implant, reacting to it, and causing swelling and inflammation in the surrounding tissue.

As a result, the new implant may get loose and fail, requiring its removal. This failure can occur at the start of the implant’s process or later after the healing period.

 pain, bleeding, suppuration, and inflammation

The symptoms you should consider when suspecting implant failure are usually pain, bleeding, suppuration, and inflammation around your implant.

If any of these occur, contact your dentist immediately. Additionally, dental implant failure can have multiple causes, among we can find the following:

  • Deficient oral hygiene: plaque affects dental implants, causing a periodontal disease called mucositis and peri-implantitis . This is the most frequent cause of implant failure, and it’s directly related to how good your oral health is.
  • Body rejection: sometimes, your body’s immune system can reject the implant’s material, creating a negative response that causes bone loss and failure.
  • Surgical procedure complications: these are unusual surgery and denture mistakes such as malposition, overheating, and overloading. They rarely occur but may cause contamination, infections, bone loss, and body rejection.

The Dental Implant Removal Procedure

Consultation with a dental professional

Dental implant removal surgery is a delicate procedure that requires a professional specialist intervention.

The Dental Implant Removal Procedure

Every implant surgery requires a comprehensive evaluation, complementary tests, and an accurate diagnosis to determine its cause. 

Surgical Removal Process

Removing a dental implant is similar to a dental extraction. After painless local anesthesia, your dentist may use similar dental tools and specialized instruments to remove the implant. The professional usually uses a specialized technique, unscrewing the implant counterclockwise

With the appropriate procedure, the professional team can reduce the damage to the remaining jawbone and prepare the implant site for other possible interventions. In addition to the usual removal procedure, dentists can use a laser or electrosurgery to remove failed implants. 

Recovery and Aftercare

Recovery and healing are essential during every implant procedure. After the procedure, you might experience mild discomfort for a few days. However, removal recovery is typically quick with a positive evolution. 

On the other hand, your dentist might need to wait for at least a couple of months before considering placing a new implant or other surgical procedures such as bone graft or a new dental prosthesis. 

Risks and Complications of Dental Implant Removal

Potential risks during the removal procedure

The principal adverse hazard during the removal surgery is bone resorption. The implant specialist will try his best to prevent bone depletion and possible resorption by protecting your jawbone and removing the implant with the least trauma possible. Other minor risks are postoperative bleeding and severe inflammation.

Long-term effects and complications

The long-term effects can be teeth shifting and bone resorption. Whenever you lose a tooth or implant, the bone around it gets thinner and weaker. As a result, modern implant dentistry offers other procedures such as bone grafts, guided bone regeneration, and gums and bone transplants. 

Aftercare and Recovery Following Dental Implant Removal

Post-removal care instructions

Follow your specialist recommendations at all times. Usually, you will have to take a soft diet, avoid some foods, avoid physical activity, and maintain excellent oral hygiene. You will need a specialized toothbrush and toothpaste to prevent damage and keep dental plaque at bay.

Managing discomfort and pain

Although postoperative pain is mild, your dentist might indicate some cold compresses, over-the-counter painkillers, or antibiotics.


Depending on how minor or severe trauma you might experience during the surgery, he might indicate one or all of them.

Followup appointments and monitoring

After your surgery, you will return to your dental practice for a few follow-up appointments. The most common reasons are healing monitoring and stitches removal.

Can Dental Implants Be Removed Safely?

Yes! Several factors influence safe implant removal. Knowing the failure causes is indispensable for a safe removal. Besides, understanding bone preservation allows the specialist to save as much bone as possible for future treatments. Lastly, you must address all the procedure alternatives with your professional team to achieve the best results.


Dental implants are a highly successful dental procedure. However, when it fails, you might require a removal surgery.

Keep in mind all the recommendations above to make an informed decision and increase the outcome of possible future treatments. 

Additionally, remember that having excellent oral hygiene is the base for preventing most oral complications, including dental implant failure. 

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