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 14

Broken implant- what to do?

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Hi. Sorry to hear about your problem.

If the implant itself is fractured, then it must be removed, and site prepared for another implant in several months. Implant fractures do occur very very rarely. Your dentist should evaluate the implant type, your bite scheme, and possibley crown fit factors. Every office handles this differently, but at our office, we warranty the implants for life- should anything happend to the implant such as fracture, we replace it at no cost. Speak to your surgeon and dentist and see what they can offer you.



dr. kazemi

Bethesda Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

What causes a Dental Implant to fracture?

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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!

Bernard Ian Krupp, DDS
Baltimore Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

Recovery for broken dental implant

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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. 

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Broken Implant

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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 Dentist

Dental Implants and missing teeth

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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 Dentist

Cost to replace a broken implant.

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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 Dentist

Implant failure after 5 years. What is the recourse?

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First, you need to investigate whether it's the IMPLANT (supporting post in bone) or the CROWN (cap on top of the implant) that broke. If the crown broke off, that's easy to replace. The old crown is removed and a new cap is replaced. You will have to pay for the crown. On the other hand, if the implant itself broke, that's more complicated. This now means that the cap and implant have to be removed, most likely bone grafted int the socket and you will have to wait about 4-6 months for the ridge of the jaw to heal before re-implanting another implant post. Again, you will likely have to pay for the surgery although the companies that make the implants will warranty the parts for 10 PLUS years nowadays. That should save you a couple hundred dollars. Your dentist will receive a replacement implant and not charge you for the material cost. Let's face it, who can guarantee anything for 5 years of more? Understandably if the crown or implant broke off in the first couple years, I would say you should have the cost of re-doing it waived. But after five years of heavy wear and tearing, chewing and biting, it's reasonable to have to pay for re-treatment. 

Herbert Veisman, DDS
Toronto Periodontist

Implant Failure

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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

Implants don't break very often

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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.

Implant Failure

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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.

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.