3 of the 5 dental implants I received in June 2014 have broken. When the first one broke my dentist said that few things last like they used to. After removing the first broken implant, I had to wait a while then it was replaced. Since that time, 2 more have broken. That’s 3 out of 5 implants that broke. I consider this to be a horrible track record. This whole thing has taken up so much time that if I had known dental implants only last a few years, I would have never gotten them. How common is this? Lyle

Lyle – It’s not common at all for dental implants to break. It’s even rarer for multiple implants to break. We recommend that you get a second opinion. What are possible causes of the problem?

Inferior dental implant fixtures

Cheap dental implants can help a dentist save money. If they are made overseas, a dentist can purchase them for a few dollars, compared to high-quality, highly regulated implants from the U.S. that can cost hundreds of dollars. Cheap parts break. Broken dental implants should be a warning signal to a dentist to change his or her supplier.

Continued use of low-quality implants reflects a lack of concern for your oral health. If your dentist replaces the broken dental implants and uses the same cheap fixtures, they will likely break again.

Poor placement

Dental implants have to be precisely placed. Just like tooth roots, they have to withstand the force of biting, chewing, and grinding when you eat. An implant can only withstand the pressure if it is properly placed.

Inadequate diagnostic studies or lack of diligence during implant surgery can cause them to be placed incorrectly. Usually, a durable implant that’s incorrectly placed will loosen or get infected. Cheap implant fixtures will break.

It’s clear that your dentist has taken shortcuts. It might have saved him money, but it’s penalizing you with broken implants, and it’s compromising your oral health. Don’t think about letting this dentist replace any more of your implants. Start searching for a skilled dentist with a good reputation and a good track record of success. Look for dentists with extensive post-graduate training in implantology.

This post is sponsored by Colorado Springs dentist Dr. Joseph Rota.