Removing Dental Implants

A Cooper, a dental implant patient, asks:

I have three dental implants that have been in since 1992. My periodontist has found that there is an infection around these dental implants, which are my cuspids, with significant bone loss and suggests that I get them removed by a qualified oral surgeon. The periodontist claims that upon their removal, bone in the area will be build up again and additional dental implants could be put in place.

I would like to know if removing the dental implants is the correct treatment plan here? Also, can I really expect bone to build up again after implant removal? In your estimation, how long would it take for the bone to be built up so that the dental implant process could start again? Finally, how much pain would I expect to be in during the removal of the existing dental implants? What else should I be worried about during this process? Thanks very much for any answers you can provide.

43 thoughts on “Removing Dental Implants

  1. Jim says:

    It looks like your implants lasted about 15 years, which isn’t too bad.

    Once they are removed, you can always try to rebuild the bone up with your own bone or some synthetic bone.

    Just surious, what kind of implants did you have that resulted in the signifcant bone loss [ie., what brand]?

    And were you a smoker or a diabetic [which can also contribute to the problems you have experienced]?

  2. Barry P. Levin, DMD says:

    This is an unfortunate happening with implant therapy. It is not well-documented in the implant literature where failing or ailing implants can be adequately grafted to re-osseointegrate. The surgical procedure would probably lead to significant recession, compromising esthetics in the cuspid region. The time that these implants were placed indicates that the surface of the fixtures is probably machined titanium or coated. Neither of these surfaces is in regular use currently. The more bone being lost around these implants will probably progress, making regeneration more challenging. The prospect of augmentation after implant removal is usually quite promising. Any qualified periodontist or OMFS should be able to handle this for you. However, I have not seen your mouth & radiographs, so this is pure speculation.

  3. Jim says:

    Do the HA coated titanium implants have a better or worse chance of osteointegrating?

    anyone know what the med. literature says on this?

  4. jerry niznick says:

    I suggest you read the VA Study conducted by 32 centers uing 3000 Paragon implants. It compared HA to non-HA implants, with HA proving to be significantly better especially in soft bone, in the hands of inexperienced dentists and even if the implant was loose on insertion.

    The think to remember though is that it was comparing HA to acid etched implants and the only acid etched implants on the market today are Osseotite. I went to blasted when I saw these results in 1993 and have used the same SBM (soluable blast media) surface since that time.

  5. lynne shatto says:

    i can see trouble ahead and am rather scared as to what my dentist will tell me.
    i had head and neck cancer in 1995, and was a success, the cancer was in the back of the tongue, after radiation and chemo, and losing all of my back teeth before starting radiation, i started losing my front teeth about 3 years ago, they were becoming just plain bad, so dentis put in all implants on top front and bottom front, about 8 up and 8 bottom.
    now here’s the problem, i am on a stomach feeding tube and do not take any food into mouth, or liquids (except maybe 1-2 cups of coffee a day) i have no saliva, just muscous, i can see the receding gums in the lower mouth, even down to the black of two of the implants, i know they are becoming infected, and i try to put anti-bacterial mouthwash on it every day,
    so that is my problem, im so afraid for anyone to even go near my mouth, the jaw does not open very wide, i am a 73 yr. old active woman.
    so i feel all is rather lost when it comes to my teeth, i’ll hate going around or even smile without any teeth.
    thank you for listening
    l. shatto

  6. Sue says:

    Dear Lynn:

    I am sorry for your situation and that no one has responded to it. It sounds like you could maybe get by with a few less implants and still have good results. If he got all of those in I am sure he can get them out.

    I know what you mean about no teeth, you can’t put a price on self esteem. However those who care about you will still love you no matter what. The Doctors who gave you 12 years and counting are the ones you should be listening to. They are doing you the greatest service of all.

  7. alexa wolf says:

    i have 3 implants and am developing lung disease of some kind — trouble breathing — and have just read that titanium particles from implants can cause this. What kind of pain and other traumatic effects can I expect from removing these implants (numbers 12, 13 and 14)? I also have narrower nostril on that side, I panic when i can’t breathe through my nose and both nostrils are especially narrow. I am afraid of pain, permant damage to sinus and misery of recovery period (which would be how long?).

  8. EJ says:


    How do you know the lung dysfunction is caused by your titanium dental implants?

    And did you read that titanium particles from the actual dental implant can somehow leech from the implant, travel through your system, and end up being deposited in your lungs? If so, where did you read about this [and could you post the site to the article so others can view it].

  9. A.Ozzella says:

    I have 2 implants since about 18 mts. they look good.
    I am pleased with, but lately I am having problem with breathing, every time I breathe I sense I strange odour in my mouth and I get very heavy chest like asthma, is this caused by something leaching from my implants?
    I went to check with my dentist he did x-rays and a fully check-up I was told everything’s fine.
    Is this caused by my implants or anything else?
    Note: I do brush my teeth 2 times per day, I floss and use daily interdental brush and use mouth-wash
    and also use daily super-floss on my implants .


  10. Carmela Portelli says:

    I have 2 implants on the top that fell out recently. The implants broke in half leaving half in the bone and half in the tooth. That happaned not long after they were put in about 3 years later. They fell out so that takes care of that. I also have one in the bottom left that also broke half in bone and half in tooth. I would like to know if the insurance company covers implant removal.

    Thank you.

  11. David Frenkel says:

    Can someone tell me the safe protocol for the removal of a ten year old dental implant of a upper front tooth. Since I have had this implant I feel it is a factor contributing to my mental illness. I would like to get it removed and to have a partial made of a biocompatible material.
    Once the implant is removed is there osteocyte of the bone that can be removed down to the osteoblast so that new bone growth can be stimulated and the hole left from the implant can then fill in.
    Is there anyone in the Washington DC area that could do this work for me.
    Thank you for hearing this and I look forward to hearing what can be said in response to this message

  12. Gary Joseph says:

    I am a 64-year old male, have a 10-year old implant at no.15 that reaches into the nasal cavity. It was possibly never quite right because I often had nightly nasal congestion on that side. A year ago my dentist replaced its original screw with an abutment and crown that provided insulation and the congestion disappeared. But he also made the tooth into a bridge post. This big 5-piece bridge had to be removed a week ago to let the area heal but leaving the abutment exposed. Now I have a continuous low to moderate level pain around this old implant. My dentist says that there is no obvious sign of infection.
    Is the surgical removal of this old implant and bone graft to seal the hole toward the sinus the only sensible course of action?
    I also read that a special Trephine drill is required for proper implant removal, matched to the implant type but I do not know the type and cannot locate the dentist who originally placed it.

  13. dorothy harmon says:

    I am a 53yr old female.At age 37 two implants were put in to hold dentures in place. after 18mo inplants had to be removes.Six years later
    pain sent me to a hospital.Where I was told I
    had to get implants or my chin would break.That was the last thing I wanted.I was told if I did this they will never fail and five more was put in.Results 11 years later three surgerys under chin for infection they couldnt stop.Four times
    chest pain so bad doctors were convinced I was having heart attacks.Infection so bad Top of implant came undone then one implant bored a hole came out on it own.Then bone was filled in
    around implant 10mo ago.Its back infection chest pain,Now implants need to remove,No insurance Whats a person to do?

  14. Peter Hird UK says:

    I had 3 dental implants fitted 6 months ago, 3 months after the fitting I started been ill with breathing problems, bad breath and tremors. I have been investigated by a vast amount of modecal professionals who all drew a blank on my condition. We believe I have become hypersensative to Titanium. My implants are in the process of been removed.

  15. Peter Hird UK says:

    My implant have now been removed,, they came out pretty easy as the electrolite process I had prior to the removal work seems to have made the drilling work much easier. Now we are waiting to see if my health, Breathing, Tremors, WBC, HPA Axis etc improve.

    Keep you all posted.


  16. Jen says:

    What is the actual dental implant procedure like? I really don’t know what to expect and I’m going to get mine removed Monday (right upper premolar) for orthodontic treatment. I got the implant to replace a missing permanent tooth. Thanks.

  17. Damiris says:

    I had two dental implants put in my upper jaw, I started having tremors two weeks later. Now the tremors are so strong that the doctors believe that I have parkinson. They gave me parkinson medication that did not work on me and I had 2 pet scans,2 MRI’s and 1 cat scan and nothing seems to be wrong with me. I went to the oral surgeon and told him I believe it was the implants doing this to me and he says that it is imposible. He would not remove them unless I get another oral surgeon to back me up and I just can’t find one to back me up or just to believe me. If any body out there knows someone please let me know.

  18. Michelle says:

    This is the first web site that I have found information on implant removal. I wish I could help answer some of the above problems, but I can’t even answer my own questions.

    I was in an accident at the age of 19 and my front tooth was knocked out and the two on either side were broken in half. I got a implant on the front tooth that I lost and veneers on the 7 other top front teeth. Five years later (now) I went to the dentist to have my gums over the implant looked at because they are receding. Now, I am being told that the implant must come out due to serve bone loss (and receive bone grafting and have another implant placed) and that I will need three root canals (2 being the teeth on either side of the implant that were broken). I am posting this to basically seek advice or support from anyone or a Dr. that may have experienced this or has knowledge on this. I love my Dr.’s, but I feel that I will feel better actually hearing from someone that has gone through this. ANY ADVICE OR INFORMATION??

    Along with all of this, I have had a cough and shortness of breath for the past two years. Does anyone know if the cough is in any way related to the implant and any articles that I could read on this??

  19. scott bross says:

    I am a 44y/o, overweight male, diabetic, X-smoker, and was told that due to my bone loss and gum disease that I should have my upper teeth removed and have implants put in, to preserve bone lose.
    On July 1 2000 I had 6 titanium implants put in place of my upper teeth. Seems to me, the implants would flare-up with infection now and then during the time I was healing and wearing a full upper denture waiting for my permanent (implant supported) denture.
    I had a permanent type denture placed that made cleaning more difficult then I was told.
    I was doing everything the dentist told me as far as cleaning with floss between the gum and denture I also was in the dentist chair every 3 months, for one full Year, for the cleaning of my lower real teeth. (The upper denture was difficult for my dentist to remove and I guess He felt it did not need to be checked)
    After one year, my hygienist took routine x-rays of my lower teeth and upon review, at the corner of the x-ray, we saw a ¼ inch of major infection on the upper gum line, resulting in bone and gum surgery to clear the rotting bone and gum around all implants.
    This was a concern to me, due to the link between gum disease and heart disease!
    I then was fitted with a removable denture that I could remove and clean the implants and gum line. They preformed Great! And way better then a conventional denture! And worth the $30K I spent. I have developed a “Tremor” when I yawn, my whole body shakes for as long as the yawn takes. (This may not be related but I read this in a Blog)
    Now in 2008 I have been fighting infections off and on, all the time. My diabetes is considered moderately controlled without insulin.
    I have cleanings done every 3 months. I water-pick every day, and blast around the implants at full power.
    Now the same dentist is saying either take out the abutments and let the skin heal around the implants and get fitted for a regular denture. Or spend approx $3000.00 to have a surgery to remove gum and open all the pockets.

    I guess the questions I should be asking are:
    # 1) Is this surgery just prolonging, the” Inevitable” of having the implants removed? How long, with good home care, will I have?
    #2 To take off, all the abutments and leave the implants, as good as removing all the implant?
    #3 Does it cost as much to take them out before they fail as it did to put them in?
    #4 Is there any more evidence of implants causing poisoning in the body? Causing tremors? Lung cancer from implant coating?
    #5 Did I get a defective implant that the implant company and/or dentist should be paying for some this?

    I have surgery scheduled for July 25, 2008 and hope it’s the right course of action
    Thanks you so much for any and all responses

  20. karen says:

    This message is for Scott! I am female age 57 and for different reasons than you had hip grafting, sinus lift etc Oct 06. Currently I am still having problems. Seems I have implantitis……… periodontal disease so deal with mutliple “procedures” to clean out, take out implant, wait for healing, replace implant and still with continued pain. My restorative dentist is pressuring for the fixed but I want the removable for cleaning purpose! Thanks for your input! My surgeon wants the removable for the same reasons that you stated happened to you. I hope that you will continue to post your progress as I will watch for how your next procedure goes. My last was June 11 and I’m still in pain and losing bone. Again. I feel bad for the surgeon as he’s the absolute BEST but he says he isn’t giving up on me. But I get depressed with all this and want to give up and know that I really can’t. PLEASE keep your progress posted!
    Thanks, Karen

  21. karen says:

    PS guess I should say that I have 8 maxillary implants at the moment. Who knows how many I can keep. I haven’t been able to get beyond this stage as I keep losing bone. It’s called saucerization which mean losing bone around the threads of the implant and I’m losing more than normal. In the beginning I had to go w/o upper teeth for about 8 weeks. I, too have my lowers.
    Thanks again, Karen

  22. Judy says:

    I am a 66 year old woman and (1) year ago had 6 implants put in my lower jaw to place my new dentures on. I have made dozens of trips back to the dentist and he can’t seem to get the dentures to fit right. He has chopped them up so bad that they look terrible. You can see the implant hole (black) through the denture. I have sjogren’s syndrom so my mouth is quite dry a lot and he blames this on how the fit is. The trouble is I have had this for 8 years and have had my uppers for just as long and never had a problem until he put in the implants. My mouth is sore all the time from the dentures rubbing against the inside of my mouth. (I think they are to big for me. I have also lost a lot of weight because I can’t eat hardly anything)

    Is it possible for the implants to work there way up out of my gums? They seem to fit up higher and they hit my lower lip. I can’t take out the lowers because then the pegs poke me in the mouth and cause sores.

    I now have decided I want them removed. I am tired of my mouth hurting all the time and not being able to eat decent and the dentist can’t semm to get it right.

    Is thre any other recourse for me??????


  23. Elle says:

    I had a dental implant just over two years ago and since have had problems with pressure in the top right hand jaw extending to the head, which causes vibrations when I talk. It leaves me feeling quite light headed and dizzy at times and just generally unwell. I have had a CT scan done and the results shown that the implant has extended into the cheek sinus but there is no inflammation of the sinuses. I am now waiting to see an Oral surgeon for advice on future management. Now I just want to have the implant removed. Would this be possible, and would I be left with any problems, or would removal of the implant stop all the problems I have been experiencing. I look forward to any advice.

  24. JO says:

    In 1992 I had a severe accident which resulted in the loss of almost all my upper teeth and about 6 of my bottom front. I also had severe bone loss due to the impact on my face in the accident. After 2 years of surgeries to stabilize the facial bones and bone grafting I was ready to start the implant process. After what seemed a lifetime ( 1 year and 6 months) I had my implants and bridgework all done. Although I was thrilled to have “permanent” teeth I say they have never been right. I constantly expierenced pain to some degree. From a constant dull aching to full blown pain. One of the implants actuall pushed itself out after about 10 years. I woke up to find the total implant with cap still attached and a mouth full of blood. I have since had both top and bottom bridges removed and want all of the implants taken out. The ones on top I believe have been the cause of constant sinus problems. I have teporary removable dentures (waiting on the permanents) and find they look better then the actual implants ever did. Once the implants were done (back in 1994) I spoke alot differently(partail lisp_ which was very annoying. I can not WAIT to have these things removed. What I thought was a blessing at the time after my accidnet turned out to be anything but. Had I known what I would have had to go through and the years of problems I would have had the regular dentures made. I have such sever bone loss that the one dr. told me right now the ompants are stabilizing my facial structure. Its a catch 22 since either way I will need bone grafting done. It wasnt until I came upon this website that I realized that I am not an isolated case with the complaints I have and the ones Ive read. Thank you all for sharing!

  25. JWS says:

    Question about Implant removal due to infections in 86 year old:

    My father has terrible infections *his whole mouth causing pain due to poor dental hygene. He has several implants, and dentures and bridge work. The oral surgen has suggested removing all implants etc. I don’t know exactly what type of implants he has. But I also was informed today, that he tested Positive for TB (ppd test). We are getting chest xray…

    1. How dangerous is the implant removal procedure for an 86 year old? and can this procedure be done, even with the TB reaction.

    2. What is the recovery period like? personal care, ability to eat, pain mgmt etc?

    3. What is the next steps for my father (who refuses to realize the need for dental hygene care)? Does he need to rebuild and get implants.. or can upper/lower dentures do the trick going forward?

  26. vernie pettit says:

    I have had a full upper implant spprox 23 24 years , never had trouble until 2006 and still not know it was my implant, was on antibotics 1 year had sinus surgery and found the problem was mty teeth. Had treatment thought it fixed it, but 2 months ago started feeling I was comming down with flu and had mouth ulcers, doctor said i had auto immune, possibly lupus, sent to my dentist he said take out implant, second opnion says do oxygen water pic and wait, now have water comming through my nose from my teeth, is there any help outthere what should I do, scard of taking out implant after so many years there, was told auto immune could be from my teeth. I not sure just need help

  27. nina jayasundera says:

    There are 3 implants in the rt upper 4, upper 5 and upper 6. Upper 5 has integrated, but the other two
    have been placed buccally where it is unlikely they
    will integrate and well into the maxillary sinus due
    to the previous practitioner not doing any preparation
    The patients states she probably will have the money
    now, but not in ten years for a major repair job.
    What are the long term complications she is likely
    to encounter and how would you advice her bearing
    in mind she is 56 years old, and has no pain at present

  28. karen trauterman says:

    what is the procedure to take out a implant???

    I have yet to see a answer to any or the questions presented why no answers???

  29. Mircea Stapanoiu, DDS says:

    If the implant is loose, removal is easy, similar to loose tooth.The site will be “cleaned’ of all soft/infected tissue and subsequently grafted for a future implant if desired.If the implant is osseointegrated (rigid), the procedure involves the use of a trephine bur to separate implant from surrounding bone.And again, grafting is necessary.

  30. Pam says:

    I had a front tooth removed one year ago due to cracked root. Thought my problems would be over by having a dental implant. One year later the implant is in, the permanent crown on the implant. Since the crown has been put on I have had such pain. It is just like a toothache only no tooth there. I have to use antibaterial rinse all the time and am now back on penniccilan. Last night my “toothache” was really bad. Went back to the dr who did the implant, he says everything fine, going to a gum specialist today. The implant looks good in my mouth but I cannot continue with this pain. So here I am one year later, same pain but 8 thousand dollars less in my bank account! Now I might have to pay again to have it all removed. Then what do I do…revert to a bridge? I am soooo very fed up with this problem. No one seems to know what is wrong, meantime I can”t eat properly and am always conscious of pain and discomfort where the crown is and can feel discomfort right up into the gum almost into my cheeck and nasal area. I am very discouraged.
    can anyone give me advice?

  31. Grace Li says:


    I have the same problem with my implant tooth. I am looking for a good surgeon to remove the implant. But it is not that easy, because my implant is very close to my two neighboring teeth. I hope you already take care your problem.

  32. Howard says:

    I have a 19 byear old peristol implant in my kower mouth, It is starting to excute puss on both sides. Can this be cleared up without removal?

  33. J. Lesher says:

    Having read all these posts…I can only recommend that anyone getting an implant placed or removed see a board certified ORAL SURGEON. Do not let a regular dentist do implants. Ever.

    I had a top, front tooth (#8) with a root canal crack off 20 years after the root canal (3 years ago). My so-called cosmetic dentist placed an implant and he drilled too much bone away. Five days later the implant failed and he removed it (more bone loss). 6 mos. later he did the procedure to put the implant back in (MORE bone loss). I left this dentist, and my new family dentist said I was losing bone at the two adjacent teeth. I tried getting an oral surgeon to do additional bone grafting (didn’t want the implant removed again, and didn’t want to lose the other teeth). The bone grafting didn’t help at all, and more bone has receded from the two adjacent teeth. I still don’t know if I am going to end up losing them as well.

    I just had the implant removed (by oral surgeon) to try to save the other two teeth. I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars on this one tooth. The rest of my teeth look fine (I have fillings and crowns, but my smile is otherwise good). I am in excellent health, normal weight, go to the dentist every 6 mos. I have done nothing wrong, but what a HORRIBLE PAINFUL EXPENSIVE journey! Today my eye is almost swollen shut from the surgery 2 days ago. I have suffered so much, and it’s not over. 🙁

    My 75 year old father has numerous implants and has never had one bit of trouble with any of them. Why I have been cursed with #8 (I call it Number Ain’t, coz it ain’t there), who can say?

  34. diego says:

    i made 6 upper implants and an hibryd protesis
    on the left side i feel and have pain
    on the right and anterior side i don,t feel any pain
    i want to remove the implants is it possible they were done 6 month ago and are osteointegrated
    i am very wooried and i dont feel good with the implants
    my dentist say its everithing o.k x ray and tomography are well but i have pain
    what shall i do?

  35. sam franks says:

    I am seeking information on having six-6 Nobel Bioscience “Replace Select” implants removed because of ongoing infection, pressure, pain, screws falling out, constant stench coming from implants, and more.

    Any advice?


  36. robin rother says:

    Just came across this site while looking for something else. It is possible to remove many types of root-form implants in a few minutes using devices that lock into the implant. These devices deliver torque considerably greater than that needed to break the osseo-integration interface i.e. up to and exceeding 400Ncm. This avoids the need (generally) to cut away bone and the process leaves a neat ‘socket’ after removal that requires little additional treatment. Let’s say that an implant needs to be retrieved from a poor position. A replacement could be placed immediately if the region is free of disease. Where disease is present and attempts to regenerate the bone have not been successful then removal is a better option than allowing the implant to slowly lose bone. A large defect will result. So better to remove the implant. Yes, the ‘socket’ could be filled to preserve the ridge. For some like Sam it may be possible to expose the implants and recover the situation by eliminating biofilm and augmenting. But removal is now a reasonably straightforward option.

  37. Brad says:

    @Robin Rother … are you a Dentist? Please say yes, and will you be my Dentist? Please… And/or do you have any suggestions of a place to go to have the removal done… I don’t care where the location is… I’ll / I’d make it happen .. it’s too important that it be done by someone competent and knowledgable.

  38. Phil Salemi says:

    Amazing. I have been saying for months that my implant is causing me multiple problems. Neurologists, medical Dr.’s, MRI’s CT’s x-rays, you name it. I can not get anyone to listen. I am experiencing temporal pain,they thought I had temporal arteritis, then I was told migraines. I have constant burning at the gum line of my impant, unbearable sinus pressure, my breathe is so bad, it is like something died in my mouth,all I can think of is necrotic tissue. I can feel the air hit my sinus when I breath. I too have developed heavy chest and congestion, and have been being treated for asthma. I can not tell you the last time I expectorated something that was not green or off color. I am at the end of this perverbial rope.

  39. helen says:

    I had cancer 8 years ago and radiation. I have 4 implants that the oral surgeon may have to remove, What is the prognosis for new implants?

  40. sonja says:

    Phil Salemi–I have been feeling much the same for almost 2 years now. You can go to medhelp dot org and look up titanium/vanadium/aluminum dental implants and find a long list of posts from people with issues relative to dental implants.

    Have you been able to get a remedy for your situation? I still am in the position of having an implant that needs to be removed. It is alot easier to find someone to put implants in rather than take them out. The consensus seems to be that if an implant is osseointegrated, it is fine. Never mind the sinus inflammation, unexplained physical symptoms, bad odor, and on and on.

    Denial, denial, denial is what you will get if you stay in the immediate area where you had the implant installed. Only when I left town did I find a practitioner who admitted he was not comfortable with the amount of bone loss around my implant. He also said that when the sinus is perforated, as it was in my procedure, that he stops the procedure and makes sure the sinus heals properly before installing the implant. The issue of titanium sensitivity is another issue altogether which is being denied unless you are lucky enough to NOT have the implant integrate with your bone.

    It would be so great to find a knowledgeable practitioner who can remove implants and restore health in situations like ours.


Comments are closed.

Posted in Dental Implant Complications, Patient Questions.
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