Dental Implant Removal

Mary, a dental implant patient, asks:

I just had a dental implant put in a couple of weeks ago.  I’m
experiencing quite a bit of pain.

I would like the dental implant removed, since
I don’t want to deal with constant pain.  Since the dental implant is not
integrated with the bone, will the removal be a somewhat easy procedure? This is for an implant placed in the upper jaw. What specifically are the criteria for dental implant removal? What are my other options? Thank you.

46 thoughts on “Dental Implant Removal

  1. Have you talked to the doctor that put in your implant? What are they recommending? You should get this implant evaluated by another dentist/oral surgeon/periodontist/ or prosthodontist if there is a problem and your dentist isn’t addressing it properly.

  2. Some kind of light pain is absolutely normal, this postoperative pain may be due to a normal healing, or some gum compression by the implant, go back to your clinician and ask him ´bout this pain

  3. Any pain at 2 or 3 weeks is bad news NOt sure without seeing it but I think it should be removed as there is a problem

  4. Peter: please contact your dr regarding this pain and if this dentist does not seem to care please ask him to refer you to a dr who does. You should not be suffering after 2 weeks from an implant.

  5. Yes, if the implant is not yet integrated it should be easy to take it out. But there are some procedures that can be done to save it. All depends in symtoms and Professional advice

  6. What happens if the implant has integrated with the bone and you start having issues? Can it still be removed??

  7. When is it safe to remove an implant? and what is the approximate time fram when the implant starts to integrate with the bone. What are some of the dangers that could occur if an implant is removed? What do you do with the hole it leaves in your jaw? Please advise me.

  8. Implants are simply titanium or titanium alloy screws with a very special surface that allows bone to grow into the roughened surface to increase bone to metal contact.

    Osseointegration is considered when approximately 40%-50% of the implant surface area have intimate contact with the bone. This is achieved depending on the surface characteristics within 6 months or as early as 3 months.

    The implant never becomes a part of your body, it simply exists in an environment where the bone does not react to the metal, unless gum disease and periodontal disease affect the integrity of the bone. There are no nerves that attach to it, there are no arteries or blood vessels that attach to it. Therefore, once the implant is removed, the bone will repair the empty void or space, just as if you had a tooth removed.

    Removing an osseo-integrated implant requires a trephine bur, which is used to cut the bone around the implant and the implant is removed. Depending on the size of the implant and what vital structures exist around the implant (ie other teeth, nerves, vessels) it may be a simple or difficult task.

    Another option is to treat the implant like an impacted tooth and remove bone using a surgical bur around the implant. This technique is more destructive around the implant and will require more bone removal than a trephine bur. Metal shavings from metal to metal contact can cause incorporation of titanium into tissues which can result as tattooing.

    So to answer the questions, it depends on your own clinical situation. Find a reputable clinician who has experience with dental implants and seek a consultation.

  9. Dear SF OMS, Thank you for your help in educating patients. I am so scared since learning that my implant may have to be extracted. You see, the tooth next to it is healthy, but the implant is very close. Unfortunately, they are both in the front. It looks like I’m going to lose my tooth and the implant. Again, thank you so much for helpting us.

  10. Annette: Don’t waste you time crying to these docs. They only care about money not your well being. As you can see, none of them have even tried to console you. Good luck to you and steer clear of dental implants.

  11. Annette,
    I am anxious to know what happened with your situation. I am experiencing trouble with my implant and would possibly like it removed after reading all the things that go wrong on here. I am amazed that the only issues i ever heard about prior to surgery were the possibility of the implant not integrating….which then they would just try again after a healing period. I NEVER heard about the infections….etc. that can happen. I was told they were supposed to preserve bone and stop bone loss….but so many people on here have bone loss because of them. It’s very scary and I really want thing thing removed.

  12. Hello,

    I had perfectly healthy teeth and gums all my life and never even a cavity. However, five years ago I was told that I needed a root canal on my front tooth, #9. The tooth was supposedly traumatized in my childhood so it was slowly turning darker than my other teeth. The dentist assured me it would be an easy procedure and that I could keep my original tooth after it is bleached internally. Well, to make a very long story short, I had it done and a year later the root broke while I was eating and I was told I needed to get an implant. SO….I went through the long and painful implant procedure and was thrilled when it was over last August! However, since then I developed an infection on my gum (a boil) right over the implant. My prostodontist simply cleaned it out and gave me antibiotics and said I should be fine. About two months later the infection returned–exactly in the same spot. I went back for a gum lift procedure that cleaned out the area. He said it could have been cement remnants from the crown. I also was put back on antibiotics for throbbing pain I experienced in the implant area. He took an x-ray and the implant looked fine. He said I should be okay and did not think I needed a follow up appointment. That was in mid-February and now the area still has not healed and I don’t know what could be the problem if the implant looks good in the xray. I am wondering what can be wrong, and what should I do? I don’t believe my prostodontist knows what is wrong, or cares for that matter. I am very worried and absolutely dread the thought of complications. I greatly appreciate any advice you can offer. Thank you so much.

  13. I have a similar story as Lauren. The dentist built a bridge of 11 teeth across the top of my mouth. 2 implants on the right side hold it there and a post in my eye tooth on the left held it there. After about a year the tooth with post began to hurt. The pain was constant and I couldn’t sleep. In Nov. after numerous trips to the dentist and treatments, he pulled the tooth and inserted a base for an implant in the same procedure. In Jan. it started to hurt again. He claims there is nothing wrong and treated it with antibiotics. Last weekend the bridge fell out, and there is an abscess over the implant. There is a constant throbbing pain. My face is swollen particularly under my eye and around the nose. Today he x-rayed the area and says he sees nothing wrong. More amoxicillin and he put the bridge back in. I want to scream and can’t stand it. The whole staff at his office down plays it and one woman said that maybe the redness was due to too much make-up!!

    My impression is that he doesn’t know what is wrong and is afraid to admit it. He is probably frustrated that he can’t solve the problem and sometimes takes it out on me. My spouse works in the medical device field and says some times surgical implants just do not stay in. The foreign body response just continues and the body rejects the implant. This can show up as unusual scarring, infection, erosion or just inflammation.

    Tomorrow we will find a surgeon who can evaluate the area and maybe take the implant base out. The description by SF OMS of what it entails to remove the implant was very informative and I thank you. Finding the right surgeon to remove the implant may be a challenge. But I just can’t continue on this way.

  14. I have 4 implants in my upper jaw 2 on the right and 2 on the left.The crowns were fitted 5 weeks ago.I have no comfort now as the left and right end implants having been adjusted for bite still make too strong a contact. This is causing me to clench a lot as if too reduce them in a desire to put my mouth in a better state of rest. What’s wrong?

  15. I think your crowns are to high and there is no free way space. Normally when we have our mouth in a rest position we have 2 till 4 mm inbetween the two arches. I think you have to see your dentist again and letting him/ her check your bite and adjust the crowns. Too much pressure can give more risk for implant faillure

  16. I had an implant placed in November and also bone around sinus cavity. I have a history of Rheumatic Fever as a child so I dosed with antibiotics prior to procedure. After the implant, I began having heart palpitations, sinus pressure and low grade fever. I have been to a Cardioligist with all tests being negative. All my symptoms have increased including my temperature. I am scheduled Monday to have my implant removed and exploritory procedures of the sinus bone placed. My question is should I just look at the sinus for the cause of fever, pain etc. or have it all taken out?

  17. I had an implant placed 2 years ago (left eye tooth). I had a temporary tooth place, but it kept coming off when I ate, due to the close proximity of the other teeth and my lips. I tried to be careful and ended up biting my lip on that side, over and over again. The procedure to place the implant went well (recovery anyway). The doctor dropped instruments in the floor at least 3 times as well as the temporary tooth. His assistant was ‘training’. Always a good feeling when they ask you if you mind having a ‘training assistant’ assist! Needless to say, I never went back after the follow up check up. The post now is sitting too close to one tooth more than the other and it’s skewed forward at an unnatural angle, which means that placing the abuttment and tooth is going to cause me constant problems chewing/eating. So I don’t have anything on this blue titanium post. And I refuse to go back to that same doctor. What should I do now????

  18. To Denise: usually dentists don’t like to touch other dentist’s incomplete work. So if you go to another dentist, he or she will want to have it removed, place a bone graft, and place another implant. If you don’t want an implant, bridges are still an option, a stay plate, or a partial denture if you’re missing more teeth in the back. Implants are nice but sometimes shit happens to patient’s implants, but it’s important to know you have lots of other options still available to you.

  19. hi, Have had molar implants for about seven years now.
    unfortunately now , they are very lose, and giving me alot of pain.New to the area, issaquah,wa. Is there a low cost dentist that can remove my implants?

  20. I had an implant in #14 last April. The dentist placed the implant too deep and it entered my sinus cavity. Immediately began having symptoms, fevers every month 100 degrees for 10-12 days, post nasal drip, caughing etc. I have taken 8 rounds of antibiotics. Two cat scans showed the position of the implant in my sinuses. I got a second oppinion. He said the implant should come out. After reading on this sight I talked to the surgeon about a trephine drill to get it out. His dental group Willamette says I have to pay for the drill the wrench, ratchet and screw driver. With all the cost of having to get it out shouldnt the dentist who placed the implant too deep and into my sinuses be required to pay for it. Is it typical a patient pay for the tools used?
    KaraLynn

  21. Dear Kara, Check out your second opinions. The implant probably went in sterile. Thus not the source of your infection, yet a smear layer can form on the implant. Perhaps opening the sinus and cleaning the implant will work. There is plenty of clinical evidence and reports in the literature that placement of implants in the sinus is not that big of a deal. The bone will even grow up and in some cases over the implant ( usually up to 4mm. on the implant). See a good ENT, before you pull the trigger on this.

  22. Thanks for your reply.
    I should add that I have been to an ENT and he indicated I should take my second opinion Surgions advice and get it out. He saaid he could go in and clean out the infected sinus but if what is causing it is still there it may come back. Also I should add that previously I suffered from Sinusitus for years and got a nasal procedure done in 2001 which rid me of any of the symptoms. That is untill my implant was placed too high and entered my sinus cavity. I imediatly began having symptoms and have been sick 1-2 times every month for the past 8 months since it was placed. (10-12 days with a fever of 100) A new symptom I am having is that when I blow my nose a small blood clot comes out about every other day. Prusumable the scab that is trying to form over the top of my implant.

  23. I have a very high tolerance to pain normally, the implant in number 12, need to be remove, in my opinion, without question. My oral surgeon kept trying to convince me to leave it in, and basically refused to remove it.

    It took 3 day (6 day total after insertion or as I like to say installation) to have the implant removed, basically my lawyer filed a court order to have it removed because the doctor wasn’t listening to my demand to remove it. (I was luck my finical status allowed me to quick enforce my legal rights)

    My issues turned out to be two problems, one he fractured the root of my k-9, while drilling into my face. The other was I am one of the 1 in 1,000,000 that is actually allergic to titanium.

    The point of this story was when an implant needs to be removed you know, and don’t listen to any doctor, if you know it’s wrong, then it’s wrong.

    In case you’re wondering yes, I still have problem in that area where it was removed. No I didn’t seek civil damages from my experience. No, I don’t personally recommend a dental implant, no matter how simple or routine that the doctor makes the procedure sound, without full investigating the possible negative side effects (the fine print).

    I do have a wonderful bridge that looks very natural it’s ceramic.

  24. I had a single tooth implant 3 1/2 years ago. It is the front left eye tooth. Six months late I started experiencing excruciating pain in my left temple and have been to rheumatologist, nerve specialist and regular Doctor since. Second opinion – Dr. told me I have polymalgia but my rheumatologist doesn’t think that I do. She doesn’t know. I called the oral surgeon who put the implant in after I started experiencing pain and he told me that if it was the implant causing the pain I would have known in the first month. I now have pain all through my body. Some days it is worse than others.

  25. I had an implant put in my lower left side about 2 years ago. It replaced the tooth next to the wisdom tooth. The crown became loose and I went to my local dentist who put the crown on originally to see what could be done. He attempted to tighten it and the screw broke deep inside the implant. He referred me to specialist in a larger city who does implants with 5 other dentists, because the dentist who did my original implant was killed in an accident about 8 mo. ago. The new dentist says I can leave the implant in with a plug [ I developed irritation around the other tooth next to the implant and have mild pain and somtimes bleeding which has come and gone almost ever since I had the implant put in. He says the only way to relieve this is to have it removed because the post is sticking up above the bone level and causing irritation to the gum]. He says he can remove the implant but has only had to remove one other in his whole career because it is so unusual to have problems with them He teaches at the university dental school and is highly recommended. I’m wondering if I should leave it in and put up with the minor gum irritation; or can it become much worse? Or is there a greater chance that I will have worse adverse effects from removing it ,like nerve damage or something else.

  26. I am a dental implant patient, and after reading the comments from patients with failed and problematic implants, I would like to report my successful implant story and make an observation.

    I had my upper right lateral incisor and upper right first bicuspid replaced with Branemark implants. The incisor was done first, and later the first bicuspid. I had the work done at a medical center clinic a few years ago and the dentist who performed the surgeries is head of the clinic and very experienced with implants. He followed
    two-stage protocol, placing the implant, waiting six months for osseointegration to occur, then placing the healing abutment and so on. It was a many-staged process, but I appreciate the conservative approach he took.

    My observation is this: there are many variables for predicting the long-term success of an implant. However, the most important variable is the experience of the dentist. I am glad I took the time to find an experienced doctor in a high traffic clinic.

    To those patients whose implants have failed, I’d like to say do not give up on implants. Just find a doctor who has a few thousand cases behind him, and try again.

    This is not to say a dentist with a few hundred cases behind him can’t do a good implant, but if you have to make a choice, which is it going to be?

  27. what is the time frame that an implant can be back out and replaced with a new before having to result to the trephine bur. I merely did not like the position of the implant, want to take it out and replace with new at a position I am happier with.

  28. actualy the best time is during the procedure it self.& especially during the intial drilling,you judge the postion of the implant & not after the insertion of the fixture of the implant.but if the mistake have been done,then correct it as soon as possible,wether you need trephine or not, depened on which area & quality of bone you were inserting your implant,within 4ws you dont need a trephine.after that it differes according to your case.again having agood treatment planning is important before doing any procedure.check also with prosthodontic if you realy need to chasnge the position or not.

  29. Greeting, just had my first sugery implants and a lithunium alloy was screwed in my gum. After several visit to my dentist , all was fine and just waiting for the last sugery in a week time ( new teeth ). But surprising the alloy just gradually came out …. Is the something wrong ???

  30. I had an implant with bone graft 5 months ago(upper front tooth). 3 months ago the bone graft area got a gum boil. I made 3 trips to another dentist (due to relocation) and took antibiotics until the lump was gone. The dentist said about 2.5mm of the implant isn’t covered by bone (he knew this by pressing on my gum area), so I will need another bone graft. I paid special attention to oral hygine. Now 2 months later the gum boil comes back again. Is it because of the 2.5mm uncovered implant that I’m more prone to infection? I haven’t done the additional bone graft and haven’t got the crown yet.

  31. I had a bridge around 2.5 years ago but is was attached to a small tooth and after consultation with a dentist he thought it was causing trauma to the tooth and n implant would be better. Since having the implant I have been in constant pain, which is a normally throbbing. The initial dentist was not interested in resolving the problem and we sw a second dentist who explained the implant was impinging on the adjecanr tooth (this tooth had the nerve removed) He removed the bottom of the implanr and adjacent tooth but the pain is still there or worse. DO you know what could cause the pain, will the implant have to be removed and how can the missing tooth tbe replaced. Thanks for any advice Kim

  32. I had an implant put in about a year ago. A few months ago I went to my dentist for the crown and he said the implant was loose. I went back to the oral surgeon and he confirmed that the implant failed and needed to be removed, which he did using some kind of instrument to cut around the implant.

    This was about a week ago and I am still experiencing pain. Is this normal?

  33. Implants can be removed using laser. As for all the pain and strange health problems encounter after implants…read research by Prof Douglas Swartzendruber, anything implanted into bone will cause an immune challenge,it’s just the amount of time it takes to show up.

  34. I’m curios if anyone has information about testing for allergic reactions to titanium.

    I had two implants placed #7, #10, and from the first morning post-op, I have not felt right.

    I haven’t had significant pain, but have had continuous light headed-ness. I have seen multiple neurologists, and had various scans, all of which came back clear. By all accounts my health is normal. And yet for a long time, I have been plagued by a light headed feeling that ebbs and flows.

    I have attempted to treat the condition with medication to no avail.

    One implant was removed after it became infected, the second has integrated, and multiple surgeons have told me that it would difficult to remove; it would be surely be traumatic to my natural teeth and I would risk losing them.

    However timing of the surgery and the onset of my light-headed sensation seems too much to deny. And yet from what I can tell, there is nothing that links the two medically.

    I’ve been to an allergist only to be turned away. He asserted that he couldn’t test for an allergy to titanium. I’m wondering if anyone on this board has had such a test or knows about such a test.

    Thank you.

  35. Hello, I had a tooth extracted after a terrible experience with a foreign dentist, who dug in too far during a root canal and damaged a tooth, so it had to be pulled (the only one I’m missing). I had a titanium implant at UCLA. I experienced pain at this site, during the time I had the plug in, and then, after the crown was put in. I The pictures and scans were all clear, the implant looked okay so everyone assured me the implant had ‘taken’. I went to several dentists because of the pain. Then neurologists. One then diagnosed me with Atypical Trigeminal Nerve Disorder. I’ve seen about 5 neurologists since, who just gave me different meds – Neurontin, Trileptal, Lyrica, etc. But I am, to this moment, in constant pain. Biting, pulling, stabbing pain at the site. I had an operation for TND in January (pulsed radiation…) It didn’t work at all. I am able to sleep because of the meds, but now, at 8 in the morning, the pain is starting to seep back in and will be screaming in a few hours. But saw a neurosurgeon last week who examined me and suggested I may not have TND after all! The pain doesn’t move up and down the buccal. He suggested that it may be the implant pushing against my nerve and this is not visible in any pictures. It would be such a relief to have this implant out! Dentists in the past have told me it would be “disfiguring’ – the implant has now been in for 6 years. But my life is unlivable with this pain and the sheer quantity of meds I have to take at night. Would removal of the implant be disfiguring? I would then get a bridge. I have contacted the dentist who put it in at UCLA, but he has a practice in another city. Has anyone had an implant removed after 6 years? Is it disfiguring? Please please share any comments or advice you may have with me. I am at the end of my rope and hopes! Isabelle

  36. I have many of the same questions regarding the removal of an old but fully integrated implant.

    Several surgeons have great hesitation about removing mine. They are wary of potential disfigurement (bone loss and tooth loss). Perhaps for liability reasons or simply because they aren’t confident enough to perform the procedure?

    Isabella, did you surgeon identify what nerve would give such problems? Which tooth is the implant replacing?

    Can anyone on this board recommend a surgeon in NYC who has experience removing integrated implants?

  37. I had my implants inserted two weeks ago and had them removed today. It was a simple process to remove them but it broke my dentist’s and my heart since it was a great job. i didn’t like the way my body was responding to the titanium metal in my mouth. The more reading I d id about potential health issues the more I felt I could not risk my health with this. I am now waiting for ceramic implants to become more of the safe standard.

  38. I would appreciate if somebody can help me. November 2010 got an implant in India. After suffering severe sinus headaches and sinus related issues, my dentist said the implant is in my sinus. It took almost one year to find the cause of my headaches. My question is how much complicated would it be to remove it asap?

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