Can Dental Implants Be Removed

This blog post will address the topic, “can dental implants be removed” and cover topics like why do dental implants fail, discomforts associated with a failed dental implant, appropriate techniques and tools for dental implant removal, role of implant material on dental implant removal, is it painful to remove a dental implant, what happens when a tooth implant is removed, is it easy to remove dental implant, procedure for removing a dental implant and dental implant removal recovery time.

Can Dental Implants Be Removed 

Yes, dental implants can be removed. There are multiple reasons for removal of a dental implant, the most common reason being dental implant failure.

Mobile dental implants or dental implants with less osseointegration can be removed using instruments like levers, elevators and forceps, which are used for tooth-extraction as well.

Why Do Dental Implants Fail? Common Reasons For Removal Of Dental Implant

Dental implants fail due to multiple reasons:

Biological Reasons For Dental Implant Failure

Failure To Attain Osseointegration

Osseointegration is the connection that develops between bone and the implant at both structural and functional levels.

In a few cases, this implant-bone connection is not established leading to implant failure.


Peri-Implantitis is a scientific term for inflammation around the implant resulting in marginal bone loss and mucosal inflammation.

A 2015 meta-analysis study reported that peri-implantitis is common in almost 22% of implants.

Another study published in International Journal of Periodontics & Restorative Dentistry found peri-implantitis to be the main reason for failure of implants.

Mechanical Reasons For Dental Implant Failure

Fracture Of Implant

Implant fracture is a common mechanical cause of dental implant failure. It results mainly due to:

  • Grinding Teeth or Bruxism
  • Increased Biting Force
  • Mechanical Trauma
  • Extreme bone loss

Iatrogenic Reasons For Dental Implant Failure

Some implants fail due to poor surgical execution that includes:

  • Incorrect location
  • Incorrect or improper inclination
  • Poor oral hygiene leading to contamination of site
  • Overheating of bone due to inappropriate instrumentation

Functional Reasons For Dental Implant Failure

Improper implant design and functional overload are functional reasons for dental implant failure.

Discomforts Associated With A Failed Dental Implant

The discomforts associated with a failed dental implant are:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Infection
  • Movable Implants
  • Bone loss (visible on X-ray)

Inadequate or failed osseointegration is the most common reason for dental implant failure.

Appropriate Techniques & Tools For Dental Implant Removal

Removal of dental implants requires precision and selection of proper removal instruments. The dental implant removal process should be fast, inexpensive and minimally traumatic.

Appropriate tool selection is crucial for removal of dental implants. Following are mentioned some of the tools for dental implant removal:

Tooth Extraction Tools

Tools used for tooth extraction such as elevators, levers and forceps can be used to remove failed dental implants, mainly due to inadequate bone-implant contact resulting in mobile implants.

Trephine burs

Trephine burs having cylindrical blades are commonly used for dental implant removal.

CAD/CAM guided technique has been recently proved to be more accurate and minimally invasive.

Piezo surgery

Piezo surgery is a precise and less traumatic surgical removal of an implant without interfering with the nerves and blood vessels lying around the implants.

Laser surgery

Laser surgery is the less invasive surgical removal of dental implants without any thermal damage.

However, laser surgery is reported by many studies to be more time consuming as compared to other procedures of dental implant removal.

Counter-torque ratchet technique

The Counter-torque ratchet technique is the least traumatic dental implant removal technique that keeps the surrounding bone least damaged.


Electrosurgery is a dental implant removal process associated with osteonecrosis as a complication.

Role Of Implant Material On Dental Implant Removal

The type of material with which implant is made may have a significant role to play in the removal of implant.

Zirconia implants have a high success rate due to its excellent biocompatibility and less susceptibility to plaque accumulation. Therefore, they also have less chances of failure and have high chances of not requiring a removal.

Non-zirconia implants may often fail due to several reasons and therefore may impact the removal process as well.

Is It Painful To Remove A Dental Implant?

Removal of dental implant may not be painful but you might experience temporary pain after the removal of dental implant.

The severity of pain might be similar to the pain you experience after implant insertion. The pain must subside after proper medications or within a week.

What Happens When A Tooth Implant Is Removed?

When a dental implant is removed, the adjoining area is cleaned and examined for any potential bone loss.

The lost bone replacement is crucial and must be done as advised by your dentist.

Is It Easy To Remove Dental Implant?

The answer to this depends on the osseointegration level of the implant i.e. the degree of contact between implant and the bone.

If the implant is firmly attached to the bone, then its removal is not easy. 

The implants in the lower jaw or mandible are more difficult to remove than the implants in the upper jaw or maxilla.

What Is The Procedure For Removing A Dental Implant?

Procedure for removing a dental implant is similar to its insertion process. 

Step 1: Local Anesthesia for painless removal.

Step 2: Crown removal

Step 3: Abutment removal

Step 4: Screw removal using instruments that best suits the condition

Step 5: Stitching up the Gums

What Is The Dental Implant Removal Recovery Time?

Dental implants after removal may take almost 5 days for recovery. You may experience pain and slight swelling during the recovery process which will subside after medications.


This blog post addressed the topic, “can dental implants be removed”. We understood the common reasons for dental implant failure, discomforts associated with a failed dental implant, appropriate techniques and tools for dental implant removal and role of implant material on dental implant removal. 

The article outlined how painful and difficult it is to remove a dental implant, what happens when a tooth implant is removed, procedure for removing a dental implant and dental implant removal recovery time.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs): Can Dental Implants Be Removed

What Is Meant By Early Implant Failure?

Early implant failure means that the implant has failed within a few weeks or months of its insertion.

The reasons for early implant failure can be inadequate bone-implant contact (osseointegration), or infection resulting from poor oral hygiene, or poor healing due to continuous movement of implant, or may be due to some iatrogenic cause.

Early implant failure results in dental implant removal by a specialist.

What Does Late Implant Fail Mean?

Late implant failure means that the dental implant has failed after one year of its insertion.

If the failure is before one year of insertion, then it is called an early implant failure.

Late implant failure may occur due to reasons like peri-implantitis, bruxism or excessive bite force resulting in mobile implant.

What Are The Disadvantages Associated With A Dental Implant?

The disadvantages associated with a dental implant are:

  • Expensive and out-of-pocket for middle class
  • Pain and swelling post-placement (temporary)
  • Bleeding
  • Complications of anesthesia: nausea, vomiting and dizziness
  • Not always covered under health or dental insurance

Who is not considered as a good candidate for dental implants?

People suffering from any of the following conditions are not considered as a good candidate: 

  • Periodontal Disease — increases the risk of peri-implantitis and thereby the risk of dental implant failure.
  • Bruxism — clenching and grinding of the teeth may cause dental implant fracture or may result in poor bone-implant contact.
  • Smoker — Smoking increases the risk of periodontal disease which may further result in peri-implantitis.
  • Bleeding Disorders — People suffering from bleeding disorders in which hemostasis is difficult to achieve are not considered a good candidate for implant surgery. 
  • Diabetes Mellitus — Diabetic patients are not considered a good candidate for dental implant placement as the healing process may take a longer time. However, patients taking medications and having controlled sugar levels can undergo elective dental implant surgery.
  • Medications — People on medications like bisphosphonates and angiogenesis inhibitors are not a good candidate for dental implant placement.
  • Radiation Therapy — People under radiation therapy are not an ideal candidate for dental implant placement.

What is the lifespan of dental implants?

Lifespan of dental implants may range anywhere from 10 years to 20 years or more.

Studies suggest that 90-95% of dental implants have a lifespan of at least 10 years.

On the other hand, studies also predict that the chances of a dental implant to survive for 16-20 years are 51-75%.

The lifespan also depends on the individual’s oral hygiene and oral habits. Individuals with poor oral hygiene or bad oral habits may experience early implant failure or less lifespan of their dental implant.

Other FAQs about Dental Implants that you may be interested in.

Can Dental Implants Be Done In One Day

Can Dental Implants Make You Sick?

Can Dental Implants Cause Cancer?


Removal of failed dental implants revisited: Questions and answers


Derks, J, Tomasi, C. Peri-implant health and disease. A systematic review of current epidemiology. J Clin Periodontol 2015; 42 (Suppl. 16): S158– S171. doi: 10.1111/jcpe.12334.

Anitua, Eduardo, et al. “Prognosis of Dental Implants Immediately Placed in Sockets Affected by Peri-implantitis: A Retrospective Pilot Study.” International Journal of Periodontics & Restorative Dentistry 37.5 (2017).

Signs Of A Failed Dental Implant – Colgate

Disadvantages of Dental Implants. (2020)

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!