Dental implants are a popular, reliable and durable solution for missing teeth where a metal post is surgically attached to the jawbone to support an artificial tooth. The procedure has a very high success rate, although some people experience dental implant failure. It´s been estimated that around 5% to 10% of implants fail either shortly after implant placement or in the years that follow.
The key factors that lead to dental implant failure are:
Dental implants are robust tooth replacements, but their success relies in part on good oral hygiene habits. Some people have the mistaken belief that they don´t need to brush or floss their implants regularly because they aren´t susceptible to decay like natural teeth. While it´s true they cannot get cavities, they still need to be brushed and flossed daily, just like regular teeth. This helps remove food particles, plaque and bacteria that can accumulate around the implants, leading to inflammation of gum tissue.
In addition to practising good dental hygiene, it´s a good idea to schedule a regular check-up with your dentist every six months
A thick, dense jawbone provides implants with a strong foundation. Over time the bone fuses with the new teeth in a process known as osseointegration. However, occasionally, it may fail due to any number of reasons such as contamination of the implant surface, overheating of the bone at the time of implant placement or autoimmune disease. There may also be insufficient bone, or it could be of poor quality.
Studies reveal that the dental implant failure rate among smokers compared to non-smokers is between 6.5% and 20%. The reason is that nicotine and tobacco cause gum tissue blood vessels to constrict, limiting the supply of blood, oxygen and nutrients to the gum and jawbone.
Being a smoker doesn’t rule you out from having dental implants, but you may have a better outcome if you kick the habit.
Some medical conditions such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis may cause the body to heal at a slower pace. This can prevent osseointegration and make you more vulnerable to infections which increase the likelihood of implant failure. Additionally, therapeutics such as those used to treat osteoporosis can also negatively affect implant success.
Before undergoing a dental implant procedure, your dentist will discuss your systemic health and any medications you may be taking. They will be able to take measures that will reduce the possibility of implant failure. This can include prescribing antibiotics during the healing process and leaving longer periods between procedures to give the mouth and gums more time to heal.
Osseointegration can take several months and varies from one person to another. It´s essential that while waiting for bone and implant fusion to take place, the teeth aren´t placed under any excessive pressure. Teeth grinding creates incredible forces that prevent implants from properly merging with the jawbone. If there is too much stress on your implant, it will fail.
An infectious disease known as peri-implantitis can cause inflammation of the soft and hard tissues surrounding an implant leading to the loss of supporting bone. Among the possible causes are heavy smoking and drinking, poorly positioned implants, poor oral hygiene, dental caries of the teeth near the implant site and badly positioned crowns. The signs of peri-implantitis are bone loss around the implant, pus formation, bleeding gums and pain near an implant that is moving.
Not all dental surgeons are created equal. Just as important as the quality of the implant is the dentist´s proficiency. If an inexperienced or poorly trained dentist handles the procedure, it could lead to such issues as poor fit and improper placement, which will eventually cause the implant to fail. Therefore, it is important to work with highly skilled dentists with a track record of dental implant success, such as Chesterfield Dentistry.
Most implants are made of titanium with tiny amounts of nickel. While rare, some people are sensitive to nickel and may have an allergic-like reaction to the metal, which can cause dental implant failure.
Getting a dental implant is a very safe and straightforward process with an impressive success rate. Although dental implant failure is a significant concern, it is avoidable with good oral hygiene habits and the skills of expert dentists.
If you suffer from tooth loss and want to restore your smile, we encourage you to consider dental implants. Our staff are on hand to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today on (314) 786 3360 or make a booking online.