This is the second time a dental implant screw on my first molar tooth broke. I got the first implant in 2017. I know this is not normal, but the replacement implant broke 8 months ago. Both times, my dentist said he does not know what happened. I had a dental cleaning last week, and my dentist questioned me about any nail biting or teeth grinding habits I have because he doesn’t want to see another implant break. I am concerned about my dentist’s behavior and want to switch dentists. Is it possible that he sees signs that the new implant is weakening? Why is this happening? Thanks. Hewitt from San Diego
Thank you for contacting our office.
What Causes a Dental Implant Screw to Break?
When a dental implant screw breaks your dentist may be using cheap implants or stress on the implant may be the culprit. The implant screw will break if the biting force on it is too intense.
Other factors include:
- Implant quality – If your dentist uses cheap implants or an inappropriate size, it cannot withstand the force of chewing or biting.
- Implant location – Implants must be placed precisely to balance the forces of everyday function and wear.
- Dental crown – An incorrectly seated implant crown may contribute to undue stress on the implant.
- Bone quality – If a dentist places an implant in low bone volume or poor-quality bone, the implant screw may break.
Although your dentist may be willing to replace your implant, it is best to determine why they break. Repeat dental implant failure is unacceptable. We recommend scheduling an appointment with a dental implant specialist to examine and evaluate your implant, bite, and crown. A 3-D CT scan will help the specialist determine if your bone volume, implant location, or other factors cause the implants to break.
Your dental implant may have a warranty. Each dentist has a warranty policy. If you are not aware of one, check with your dentist’s office about it, and ask what he can arrange to ensure he does not bill you for repair costs.
Dr. David Pumphrey, an Atlanta periodontist, sponsors this post.