I Got a Dental Implant 5 Years Ago, and It Broke Off! What is my Recourse?

The implant is upper right, all the way in the back. Will I have to pay to have another one implanted? What is the warranty on these things? I wasn't eating anything out of the ordinary, why did it break?

Doctor Answers (13)

What causes a Dental Implant to fracture?

+5

A fractured dental implant or implant part is an unexpected problem! First the correct diagnosis must be made by your treating surgeon by taking an xray. If the actual implant is not fractured, it may be the "abutment" or the part that holds the crown on. If this is the case it can be removed and replaced and many dental implant manufacturers will warrenty this so you may not be charged. This is why it is important to go to a specialist that uses the best dental implants with the best warrenty. If on the other hand, the actual dental implant is broken, it will need to be removed. The way it is removed is crucial to the ability to then replace it. It must be carefully removed using the latest technology to that another implant can be placed at the same time if possible. If there is bone loss from the fracture you may need a graft first. Start with the obvious! Get a diagnosis made first!


Baltimore Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Recovery for broken dental implant

+5

The dental implants of world-reknown companies like Astra, Straumann, Nobel Biocare have a lifetime warranty. The dental implants with crowns in posterior areas hold up to 60% of all occlusal forces and are essential in adequate chewing of food. Usually the implants that are placed in upper posterior upper areas involve additional grafting of the maxillary sinus in order to get more bone for implant stability and they have a wide diameter around 4.5-6.0 mm. The implants placed in molar area are pretty difficult to break even in the research lab. The bone in upper posterior maxilla is usually is the most porous, has more elasticity and the most poor quality in comparison to other areas. Due to all these factors implant fracture in upper posterior area is extremely rare complication, that so far I`m not able to find in current literature, having in mind that all the rules of original implant placement and restoration have been followed. My assumption is that most likely eather the implant abutment screw is broken or part of the implant crown is broken. These both issues can easily be corrected after the factors that originallly have caused fracture will be evaluated. It should be discussed with your dentist and most likely it will require just minimal treatment like changing the abutment screw or crown. 

Olga Kharevich, DMD, PhD (in memoriam)
Miami Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

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Broken Implant

+4

In general, dental implants do not break.  The actual implant is securely fixed to the bone prior to final restoration.  The abutment, or implant extension, rarely fails.  It is possible for the screw which holds the abutment to the implant to fracture. 

Some implant systems were designed to have the retention screws replaced periodically.  If the screw was not tightened properly, it may loosen.  This can result in separation of the abutment from the implant or screw fracture.  If the screw was torqued beyond manufacturer recommendations, a screw fracture can also result.

Implant manufacturers have specialized instruments available to easily remove and replace a fractured screw.  Implant abutments can also be easily replaced.  If the implant has indeed fractured, the manufacturer will usually cover it's replacement.

Marc Zive, DMD
Springfield Cosmetic Dentist

Dental Implants and missing teeth

+2

You have asked a good question, why did it break. I would want to know the answer to this prior to any new implant or crown being placed.  Dental implants come in different sizes. Sometimes a smaller diameter implant is placed due to lack of bone.  If  you have a back tooth with a smaller diameter implant and a lot of stress is placed from your bite, there is chance that it might break.  

The second thought is where did it break?  If the implant neck broke, it will have to be removed and perhaps a larger diameter implant should be considered.  If the abutment or piece that goes inside the implant broke, a new abutment and crown can be made.  Once again, your bite and the reason that it broke should be evaluated.

As for paying for it, sometimes the better implant companies will help out with the replacement by providing a complimentary implant for the surgeon to use.  

Hope this helps.

Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF

Ronald Konig DDS
Houston Cosmetic Dentist

Cost to replace a broken implant.

+2

The answer depends on what part actually broke. Many implant manufactures have life time warranty's on their implants. But many times the patient might have thought the implant broke when it was 1. the abutment , or 2. the crown. Your first step would be to find out who manufactured the implant and what actually broke. Many times the dentist will be work with the patient and the implant manufacture to help with the cost. Best of luck.

 

Zola A Makrauer, DMD
Philadelphia Cosmetic Dentist

Implant Failure

+1

It is rare for an Implant to break.  Most likely the screw holding the abutment to the implant has fractured. If the implant itself has broken the implant manufacturer will replace the implant at no cost to the surgeon if it is a reputable company.  There are several fly by night companies that offer cheap implants to doctors and they will will not warrenty their product. The companies I use in my office offer lifetime replacement on their products.  If the implant itself truly broke, it should be replaced free of charge to the doctor.  Most surgeons and restoring doctors will work with you even if it has been 5 years. I dont charge my patients additional if there is a failure, albeit a rare occuance of any failure

Brian Dorfman, MD, DMD
Phoenix Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Implants don't break very often

+1

What is perceived as a break is often something else entirely, and perhaps this is one of those times.  It is likely that the implant is fine and the crown attached has broken, which may be a simple fix.  

Implants come in three parts, the implant, the connector (abutment) and the crown. Sometimes the abutment and crown can be combined, but not often.  If the crown had porcelain as part of it, it is likely that the procelain chipped.  If the chip is small, it can be polished, if it is large, you might be able just remake the crown.

Dental restorations don't last forever and many last longer than others.  While we hope to have restorations last for decades, sometimes they don't.  If insurance is a factor, there likely is a benefit to help but there would likely be a contribution from you as well to cover the full fee.  5 years is normal from an insurance standpoint.

If the failure IS the implant, the implant company may cover the cost of the implant but not the labor to replace.

Lance Timmerman, DMD
Seattle Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Implant Failure

+1

Unless you have moved visit  your surgeon and restorative dentist (may be the same) to see what has actually failed.  The implant itself (breakage is rare), or more likely the abutment (part that connects the implant and restoration, or the screw holding the abutment in place.  The other possible cause of failure is with the restoration itself (crown or bridge).  How involved the repair or replacement will be depends on which component has failed.  Most dentists doing implants and restorations will stand behind their work for a reasonable amount of time.

Donald L. Wilcox, DDS
Phoenix Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Implant repairs are possible.

+1

Implants repairs are definitely possible.  Everything depends on where the implant broke.  If the crown broke off of the top of the implant, a new crown can be made in most cases and reattatched.  If the break is in the connection to the implanted portion under your tissues, again, many times new connections can be established.  However, if the implant is broken well under the tissue in the implant body itself, many times the implant can be left under the tissue which will heal around it and will continue to allow bone stabilization in the area, but then a new implant will need to be placed near it if enough bone exists to place it.  Definitely have your dentist explore all options: he will need to see you to do this.

Scott LeSueur, DDS
Mesa Cosmetic Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.