Dental implants are among the most successful procedures in dentistry. However, there are no guarantees that an implant procedure will be successful. Given the complexity of the procedure, there are many variables that can play into the success rate. The studies show a five-year success rate of 95 percent for lower jaw implants and 90 percent for upper jaw implants. The success rate for upper jaw implants is lower because the upper jaw is less dense than the lower jaw, making the success of implantation and osseointegration slightly more difficult to achieve. The lower posterior implantation has the highest success rate for all dental implants because of the density of the bone, there’s more to work with.
Other factors that have an impact on success are pre-existing dental or general health conditions or the position of the replaced tooth. Dental implants may fail for a number of reasons, but the most come reason is the failure of the implant device to properly osseo-integrate. The actual failure of the implant may be the result of poor positioning or over torqueing in the bone. Although infrequent, dental implants may break or become infected or crowns may become loose the same way your natural teeth become loose.
If you are a heavy smoker, your dentist may advise you to give up smoking before undergoing the procedure because smokers statistically face a higher risk of implant failure. Given how expensive implants can be, one risks wasting money on dental implants if you can’t give up the habit. Other high risk candidates are patients with diabetes, hemophilia or immune deficiencies and rare instances, patients with chronic bruxism.
As I have noted in other articles the value of implants is significant with respect to bone retention and actual functionality, and they are not susceptible to the formation of cavities. So as long as one engages in good oral hygiene, i.e. with brushing, flossing, and regular hygiene procedures, the chances of peri-implantitis (characterized by inflammation or swelling of the tissues surrounding the implant) should be avoidable. This disease is similar to periodontitis around one natural tooth, and thus requires a similar approach to good oral hygiene.
Key factors in minimizing dental implant complications are the selection of an experienced prosthodontist and oral surgeon who specialize in implant dentistry, careful pre-operative treatment planning and proper after-care and oral hygiene. If you would like to know whether you are a candidate for implants please feel free to call for a free consultation.
Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A