Implant Fell Out Due to Bone Loss

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  • #679

    I am posting this here for Vatche.

    I had 9 tooth implants done almost 9 years ago. 6 on my upper right side & 3 on my lower right side. Last year one of the implants (the middle one) of the lower right came out. My dentist said it was due to bone loss,he made me a new bridge on the remaining 2 and charged me $2k. Few days ago I felt discomfort on the same bridge where I couldn’t chew on it, it was hurting. Went to see him, took an x-ray, & the diagnosis was that there was bone loss on one of the 2 remaining implants that held the bridge. He said that he could put 2 new ones there, replacing the lost one & the one I am about to lose, & that I had to pay all over again. His assessment was that, it happened because of overload on the right side, because I was doing all the chewing there,because my left side lower back teeth are missing.

    My question is: Is this normal? Or the dentist did not not do enough homework as far as checking bone density…bone graft…etc..when placing those implants 9 years ago.

    My assumption was that, implants outlast you. They stay there forever. Am I right or wrong? Does the dentist bear any responsibility for the failure of these 2 implants? Should I be paying for the new implants? Or it should be done by the same dentist for free?


    Thank you for contacting us and I’m sorry to hear about your situation.

    It sounds like your dentist has been very reactive since you started to have problems with your implants and not really helping you make the best long-term decision. If there is bone loss on one of the 2 remaining implants that holds the bridge after the middle one has already fallen out, does it make sense that simply replacing them will do the trick? Not to me it doesn’t. Having the implants replaced AFTER getting a bone graft to increase the amount of bone in the area might work, but in general has an 85-90% success rate vs a 95% success rate for an implant in healthy bone.

    Now, the fact that your implants lasted 9 years says to me that when they were initially put in, you had enough bone density at the time to hold the implants. Yes, in a perfect world implants would last the rest of your life and they often do last for 25+ years if they are properly cared for. However, there is no lifetime guarantee because there are many external factors that can affect the success on an implant that are out of a dentists control such as:

    • Nutrition/diet
    • Dental hygiene
    • Genetics
    • Diseases
    • Age
    • Lifestyle (eg. smoking)

    And yes, it could definitely be due to your right side being overloaded since you don’t have any teeth on the lower left side. That said, your dentist probably should have advised you that the missing teeth could cause a problem and suggested that you get an implant or bridge to fill in the gap.

    While I don’t think that your dentist is responsible for the failure of your 2 implants, I would hope that they would have the decency to provide future dental work on the failed area at a reduced price since it was their work that failed and you’ve been their patient for a long time. At the end of the day, your dentist’s responsibility depends on what it says in your agreement.

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