March 2021

3 causes of implant failure and what you can do about it 62a20f20b15dd

3 Causes of Implant Failure and What You Can Do About it

Dental implants are a great tooth-replacement option, but they aren’t invincible.

Every year, the rate of implant failure in the US decreases as dentists perfect their art and send patients home happy. A 10-year study even showed that the average implant success rate in the US is 97%, and as impressive as that is, Dr. Bentz has been able to achieve a much higher success rate by investing in dental technology and actively refining his technique.

There are cases when a dental implant fails though. Knowing what the causes are and how to appropriately deal with them when something happens can help you avoid an implant failure or know exactly which path to take for a fast recovery.

Dental implant failure can be divided into two different categories. The first category is early implant failure that occurs before implant osseointegration (where the bone heals around the implant, anchoring it in). The second is late implant failure that occurs after osseointegration, once a patient begins putting pressure on the implant.

Below are some of the more common causes of implant failure, and the good news is that understanding their causes and knowing what you can do about them can give you a greater chance of avoiding a failure or speeding up your recovery should any of these happen.


Peri-implantitis is a disease caused by a bacterial infection that attacks the implant site, causing inflammation of the soft tissues as well as damage to the supporting bone structure before or after osseointegration. This can cause pain around the implant, and with additional loss of bone structure, the implant can become loose and even fall out.

As well as the above, additional symptoms of peri-implantitis include bleeding gums and redness/swelling of the oral mucosa (the skin inside of your mouth).

The most common causes of peri-implantitis include bad oral hygiene and smoking, since poor oral hygiene allows bacteria to accumulate in the mouth in high populations, which increases the chance of an infection forming in and around the implant. Smoking constricts blood vessels and therefore limits the supply of oxygen and nutrients needed for the healing process at the implant site, creating an opportunity for infection.

Other things that increase the risk of peri-implantitis include diabetes, periodontitis, and a genetic predisposition in some individuals. The best steps that you can take to avoid peri-implantitis is to avoid smoking and maintain healthy dental hygiene routines. If you notice any of the above symptoms, make sure to contact your dentist.

Failed Osseointegration

There is a wide range of reasons why the bone structures in the implant site fail to osseointegrate with the implant. If too much time has passed between the original tooth being removed and the implant being inserted, then the bone material may begin to degrade and weaken to the point where it never grows around and anchors the new implant. This is why many dentists will try to avoid long waits between removing a tooth and inserting an implant, and you should keep this in mind as well.

Osseointegration may also fail if, during surgery, the bone is overheated by the dentist inserting the implant, if the implant is placed in areas with poor-quality bone or not enough natural bone, or if the implant surface is contaminated, leading to an infection. Similarly, if you suffer from bisphosphonate necrosis, if the implant site has been irradiated in the past as a result of cancer treatment, or if you suffer from an autoimmune disease, then you will likely have a higher chance of a failed osseointegration.

To improve your chances of successful osseointegration, your first step is choosing an experienced and well-recommended dental surgeon with a proven history of performing your chosen operation. Use all of the prescribed antibiotics and antibacterial mouthwashes given to you, follow all of the recovery instructions, and be open with your dentist about your medical history and any details that may affect the health of your implant. By understanding your specific medical history, your dental surgeon can then decide which option will be the most successful for you.

Occlusal Overloading of the Implant

Occlusal overload is by far the leading cause of dental implant failure, which can lead to a loosening of the implant, a fracture in the implant, or damage to the supporting bone structure, which prevents successful osseointegration. Occlusal force is essentially the bite force that any tooth or implant experiences, with occlusal overload occurring when the bite force is more than the implant can withstand.

Your best chance of avoiding occlusal overload is by thoroughly researching your dental surgeon and choosing someone who has a proven track record of successful implant procedures. This is because it is their surgical precision and prosthetic treatment that plays the largest role in the success of your implant when the time comes to start putting load on it after the healing phase.

You can, however, do your part by going to all post-surgery examinations and following your dentist’s advice at each stage. Studies have also shown that regular maintenance and hygiene practices can have an effect on occlusal overload, with plaque accumulation and bad oral hygiene weakening the supporting bone structures and reducing the amount of occlusal load that an implant can withstand.

This is why it is important to avoid smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol while maintaining a healthy oral hygiene regimen that includes cleanings from your dentist as well as regular flossing at home.

Despite these risks of implant failure, dental implants are still the tooth replacement solution that most closely resembles your natural tooth in both look and function. If you are ready to embrace a new smile or have questions about whether dental implants are right for you, feel free to call us or schedule a consultation so we can help you get on the path to healthy, happy teeth.

how to reduce dental anxiety with mindfulness 62a20f2add75f

How to Reduce Dental Anxiety with Mindfulness

Make mindfulness a part of your everyday life.

At Bentz Dental Implants, we do everything we can to make your visits to our office as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Still, we know that some patients may experience anxiety around the idea of receiving any form of dental treatment. We understand these concerns and want to help address and mitigate them.

While we offer several approaches to help reduce dental anxiety, there’s one method you can start practicing right at home: mindfulness. Today, we’re taking a closer look at how mindfulness works and the ways you can harness it to ease your nerves before your appointment.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a type of meditation that encourages you to focus intently on the sensations that you’re feeling in the moment. In short, it’s a practice that puts you fully in the present and in tune with your inner being rather than reactive to what’s going on around you.

While that sounds easy enough to accomplish, the reality is the second we sit down and close our eyes, our minds tend to ramble in a million different directions. If you’re in the throes of dental anxiety, your thoughts may fixate on your upcoming appointment.

Rather than judging those mental diversions, mindfulness allows those thoughts to gently enter then fade away. As you become more in tune with your internal rhythm, you’ll find it easier to turn inward and focus only on the moment.

The Keys to Mindfulness Meditation

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to set up a designated Zen zone in your home to practice mindfulness meditation. In fact, you can try mindfulness exercises almost anywhere!

This can be a seated, standing, walking, or moving meditation. However, if you’re just starting out, you may find it easier to drown out the world in a spot that’s quiet and comfortable.

There are several techniques you can try, but the most important aspect to understand is your posture. Your sitting surface should be stable and solid and allow you to sit up straight without leaning back. Allow your spine to assume its natural curvature, and let the bottoms of your feet touch the floor. If you’re sitting on the floor, cross your legs comfortably in front of you. Then, gently allow your hands to rest on the tops of your legs. Drop your chin slightly and let your gaze fall downward. You don’t have to close your eyes fully, but you can if you find it comfortable.

Breathing Practice

Once you’re in a relaxed position, you can start focusing on your breath. Rather than forcing yourself into an unnatural inhale/exhale pattern, simply allow your breath to flow naturally. This is called “following your breath” and is a tenet of many forms of meditation.

As it does, pay close attention to the way it makes your body feel. When you narrow your focus to this one point, you’ll find that peripheral thoughts and external stressors will slowly fade. Inevitably, however, your mind will begin to veer in different directions. When this happens, allow the thought to enter, then come back to your breath. It will ebb and flow like this for a while. You’ll start at your breath, go away for a while, and come back to it.

This is all a natural and expected process and one to embrace. The goal isn’t to suppress your dental anxiety or any other mental burden. Rather, you’re just trying to ease the pressure on your mind by focusing more on what you can control (your breath) over what you cannot.

MBSR: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

The application of mindfulness as a treatment tool for anxiety and unease is known as MBSR. This stands for mindfulness-based stress reduction. Any time you feel a wave of anxiety, you can remember your mindfulness practice and use it to help control and soothe your racing mind. This is a natural, effective form of stress relief that not only improves your mental health but can also benefit your physical well-being too.

A few of the many health benefits of MBSR include:

  • Chronic pain relief
  • Improved sleep
  • Cognitive improvements
  • Reduced stress levels

How can Bentz Dental help?

While mindfulness is largely an individual practice, there are other forms of stress relief that are more collaborative in nature. At Bentz Dental, we’re your partner in managing dental anxiety, and we offer resources to help.

These all center around different levels of sedation dentistry, which can help you relax before and during your dental treatment. In addition to those suffering from dental anxiety, sedation dentistry can also help patients who:

  • Find it difficult to sit still for extended periods of time
  • Have a hard time becoming (and staying) numb from anesthetics

Our team is licensed by the American Dental Association and closely follows all legal and regulatory requirements for sedation dentistry. The three sedative states we can administer include mild, moderate, and deep sedation.

Mild Sedation

Mild sedation, or anxiolysis, is the lightest form of sedation dentistry. Usually administered orally, it’s recommended for patients with light dental anxiety or ones who are undergoing longer or more complex procedures. In this state, you will remain awake during the entire procedure and can breathe on your own. However, you will feel sleepy and relaxed.

Moderate Sedation

Moderate sedation, or conscious sedation, is best suited for patients with moderate dental anxiety. Similar to mild sedation, it allows you to remain awake for the procedure. Though you will be conscious, you will be in a deep state of relaxation. For this reason, the effects can take a while to wear off, so we recommend bringing a friend or relative to drive you home from your appointment.

Deep Sedation

Even if your dentist recommends deep sedation, you’ll still be conscious part of the time.

As you move between consciousness and unconsciousness, you may have little to no recollection of the procedure. Again, it’s best to have someone accompany you for your after-visit care.

If you have mild to moderate dental anxiety, your dentist will likely use nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, as an inhaled sedative. We also offer oral sedation in the form of a prescription pill. You’ll take the pill one hour before your appointment so you’re fully relaxed when you arrive.

We can help reduce your dental anxiety!

If you want to reduce dental anxiety, you already have one powerful tool that can help keep it at bay: your mind. Through practicing mindfulness meditation, you can ease your thoughts in a new, restorative direction. In addition to leveraging this mental superpower, you can also call on our dental team to make your experience stress-free.

Through our different levels of sedation dentistry, we can help you sit back, relax, and enjoy your time in the dentist’s chair. Together, we can make your appointment comfortable and pleasant. For more information on our services, feel free to contact us.

how to stop gum recession 62a20f34d7a75

How to Stop Gum Recession

What is gum recession, and why does it happen?

Gum recession is a condition in which the gums begin to pull back from the surface of the teeth, resulting in a shrinking gumline and increased tooth exposure. Receding gums often occur gradually, which makes it tough for many patients to notice what’s happening until the recession has progressed to a severe level.

Cases of gum recession can vary widely from person to person. Some individuals may experience minor symptoms that are easily remedied through a change of hygiene habits or minimal periodontal therapy. Others may experience quite extensive recession caused by an underlying oral health issue that may result in the need for long-term periodontal therapy and oral surgery.

Is gum recession normal?

The old phrase “long in the tooth” may accurately apply to horses, but contrary to popular belief, gum recession isn’t a normal part of aging for people. Receding gums occurs more frequently in adults over the age of 50, though it isn’t because of age. Rather, many adults find themselves at a higher risk for developing oral health conditions that may result in receding gums as a symptom.

What causes gum recession?

Gum recession can happen for many reasons, but most come down to three factors relating to oral health and lifestyle.

1. Gum Disease

Periodontal (gum) disease is the most common cause of gum recession in all ages. Mild forms of gum disease or gingivitis can lead to minor cases, and naturally, severe gum disease known as periodontitis can cause serious destruction to the gums.

We’ll go more in detail on recession and gum disease below.

2. Physical Damage

Physical damage to the gums is the second most common cause of gum recession. This damage can occur from brushing your teeth too hard, especially in combination with a stiff-bristled toothbrush. Poorly fitting dental appliances (i.e. dentures) can also cause gums to recede due to constantly rubbing. Physical damage can cause gum disease if the gums are constantly irritated and inflamed.

3. Genetics

It’s believed that gum recession could be hereditary in nature, particularly cases relating to gum disease. Individuals may also have thinner gums than others due to genetic factors, increasing the chances of physical irritation causing gums to recede or wear down.

Who’s at risk for receding gums?

Individuals who are high-risk for periodontal disease are inherently predisposed for developing receding gums as well. Drinking alcohol often and the use of tobacco products also greatly increase the risk of gum recession. Poor oral hygiene habits and a history of chronic tooth decay also affect a person’s risk for receding gums.

The Connection Between Receding Gums and Gum Disease

In the vast majority of gum recession cases, either gingivitis or periodontitis are the real underlying causes. However, even when gum disease isn’t the cause, such as in the case of physical damage, gum disease can happen as a result of the gums receding.

Gum health is a crucial factor in overall oral health. Think of your gums as the foundation of your smile that gives your teeth stability and strength. Unhealthy gums can’t support healthy teeth and similarly, decayed, damaged, and missing teeth struggle to support healthy gums.

If you’re experiencing gum recession as a result of gum disease, the only way to stop it is to first treat your gum disease through periodontal therapy with a skilled dentist.

A Word About Peri-Implantitis, Dental Implants, and Gum Recession

Peri-implantitis is a condition very similar to gum disease that specifically occurs around a dental implant. Peri-implantitis is a gum infection that targets the soft and hard gum tissues as well as the bone in your jaw. Though rare, peri-implantitis is more likely to occur during the initial healing of a new dental implant.

Dental implants mimic natural teeth in essentially every way, and that includes the possibility of recession and gum disease if not properly cared for. Receding gums are not more likely to occur around a dental implant than a natural tooth, but if it does occur, it’s important to seek help swiftly, as receding gums around a dental implant can lead to peri-implantitis and total implant failure or rejection.

Treatment Options for Halting and Preventing Gum Recession

Treatment options for stopping gum recession focuses first on diagnosing the underlying cause.

For cases of gum recession related to physical damage, you and your dentist will figure out what’s hurting your gums and find a solution.

If you’re brushing too hard or using the wrong type of toothbrush, your dentist will guide you toward an appropriate soft-bristled toothbrush and go over proper technique. You’ll also have a deep cleaning with a hygienist and, if some gingivitis is occurring, perhaps a few periodontal therapy sessions as well.

Similar steps will be taken if your dentures, partial dentures, or other oral appliance is causing recession from a poor fit. You’ll be refit with a new appliance, or better yet, you and your dentist can discuss upgrading to dental implants or implant-supported dentures!

For cases of gum recession caused by gum disease, your dentist will immediately begin treating your gingivitis or periodontitis.

Gum disease is treated in a few different ways, including non-surgical options like periodontal therapy (scaling and root planing deep cleaning) and Arestin, a topical antibiotic specifically designed for periodontal disease. Arestin is placed after your scaling and root planing session to ensure maximum effectiveness.

If you’ve experienced severe recession, don’t lose hope. The team at Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center will help you get your smile back through oral surgery, extensive periodontal therapy, and a combination of restorative and cosmetic dental care.

Put an end to your gum recession by booking a consultation with Dr. Bentz.

Conveniently located in East Norriton, Dr. Bentz and his skilled team can help stop your gum recession and get you onto the road to a healthy, stunning smile. The first step is to schedule a consultation by calling our office or filling out this quick online form. From there, you can look forward to your visit, where you’ll get an answer to your frustrating recession and begin a treatment plan tailored to your oral health needs.

what is i cat 3d imaging and how does it make implants better 62a20f3e5c8fc

What Is i-CAT 3D Imaging and How Does It Make Implants Better?

Dental technology has improved immensely.

Dental implant surgery has a high success rate of about 97%. Because of inaccurate placement of the implant or a lack of preparation when planning the procedure, however, implant failure occasionally happens.

i-CAT 3D imaging offers a viable solution to this problem by providing a high level of accuracy and precision that ensures better planning of the dental implant surgery, more precise placement, and a better success rate.

So, if you’re planning on having or have been advised to have implant surgery, it’s always best to consult a dental surgeon that uses this technology if you want the best implants possible. But what is i-CAT 3D, and why does it make implants better? This post will answer these questions in more detail.

What is i-CAT 3D?

i-CAT 3D is one of the most advanced and accurate imaging technologies available in dentistry. It uses high-resolution images to obtain highly accurate and detailed three-dimensional views of all your anatomies, like your bones, teeth, tooth orientation, tooth and nerve relation, airways, and sinuses.

This new dental technology allows enhanced diagnostic accuracy of all structures of the face and neck area and improves implant planning, TMJ (temporomandibular joint) and airway analysis, and orthodontic and oral surgery planning. Plus, it makes it easier to detect pathologies patients may have, like cysts or tumors.

Specifically relating to dental implants, cross-sectional imaging provides data that is vital for assessing a patient’s suitability for a dental implant in a specific area. It provides information on the available bone height and width, and it assists the dental surgeon in deciding their specific approach to a dental implant procedure. i-CAT 3D provides this cross-sectional imaging of the thickness of a person’s jaw bones and accurately portrays vital structures for a more accurate assessment and correct placement of the dental implants.

What are the benefits of i-CAT 3D?

Considering the capabilities of this dental technology, there are several benefits to using it to improve dental implants.


With the scan only taking eight seconds to complete, it can be conveniently done in the dentist’s office, and once the scan is complete, you’re able to get an immediate visual diagnosis to help you better understand your treatment options.

An additional benefit of these quick scan times is that it reduces the appearance of artifacts because of patients moving during the scan. This means better accuracy overall and better planning of your dental implant surgery.


With i-CAT 3D, you don’t need to go to hospital or an outpatient imaging lab, and it’s performed in an open and roomy environment in the dentist’s office. In addition, you can get the scan either lying down or sitting in a chair, depending on the type of scanner being used. This makes the whole process amazingly comfortable.


For the curious and technical mind, there’s more to share. If that’s not you, skip on down to the next section.

Did you know traditional CT scans provide anisotropic voxels with a depth that’s usually in the order of 1 to 2 mm? In contrast, i-CAT 3D provides isotropic voxels with depths ranging from 0.4 mm to as low as 0.09 mm. This submillimeter resolution capability of i-CAT 3D is precise enough for measurements in oral applications and meets the needs of exactness required for implant site assessment and analysis.

In simpler terms, i-CAT 3D provides a staggering level of detail and accuracy that leads to better planning and eliminates the need to redo the scanning procedure to get the level of details required for a successful implant surgery.


i-CAT 3D is one of the most significant diagnostic imaging technologies that have emerged recently. Because it takes a range of 150 to 200 2D images, which are then digitally combined to form a 3D image, it allows for greater precision than traditional X-rays or CT scan systems.

Because the scan takes only a few seconds, you’ll also receive a lower dose of radiation compared to traditional CT scans. In fact, i-CAT 3D has been measured to deliver a radiation exposure dose 10 times lower than conventional CT scans. This should provide some comfort to those who want to avoid dental X-rays’ potentially harmful effects.

Why is precision so important in implant surgery?

Implant success depends on various things, like tissue quality, emergence profile, abutment selection, contacts, occlusion, and many more. Although these all play a role in how successful an implant will be, one thing that is vital is precision.

With better precision, implant outcomes are more predictable, and patients are more satisfied. In other words, precision can reduce micro-movements when a dental implant lacks stability, reduce implant failure due to a lack of bone support, and eliminate nerve or tissue damage from occurring when an implant is placed too close to a nerve. This all relies on proper planning and accurate safe placement of the implant.

i-CAT 3D gives dentists the ability to take complex cases, where tenths of a millimeter matter, from start to finish with a level of precision that ensures the best results.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this post has shown you how i-CAT 3D makes implants better and ensures results that you can be happy with.

If you’d like to know more about i-CAT 3D technology or want to schedule an appointment at our East Norriton, PA, office, please give us a call today!


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East Norriton, PA 19401

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