What Determines Success and Failure with Tooth Implants?
Tooth Implants can be offered as a complete or near replacement for missing teeth, but patients are rarely informed about the risks involved and potential failure rates. Unfortunately, this procedure has serious negative repercussions and isn’t 100% successful; implants have an inherent tendency to fail. It is essential that patients be educated on these potential outcomes so they understand that teeth Implant placement will likely occur eventually. With correct guidance and preparation, however, patients can make their implant placement safe, predictable, and beautiful.
Tooth Implants have come a long way since their inception in 1950, and technology continues to advance at an astounding rate. While some new techniques may boast great marketing campaigns, others don’t always work as expected – something to keep in mind when making your choice! It is not an uncommon occurrence.
What Causes Tooth Implant Failure? Various factors can increase the likelihood of Tooth Implant failure, but many are preventable. According to various studies, Tooth Implant success rates range from 90-95% (with some estimates around 95%). On occasion however, certain fractures will not heal even with best efforts and even with maximum immobility; these may include non-union (meaning healing hasn’t begun) or fibrous union (where scar tissue replaces bone between fractures), both occurring around five percent of the time depending on the type and location of fracture as well as patient age group. These rates reflect failure rates for Tooth Implants themselves: similar to non-unions and fibrous unions for Tooth Implants themselves.
The healing process from a fracture can be applied to implants as well. To ensure successful osseointegration, it’s essential that the bone aligns itself correctly against the implant surface. Osseointegration occurs when bone accepts the implant and fuses itself around it; unfortunately, failure rates for implants are similar to fractures not healing properly – sometimes leading to fibrous capsules around them instead of bone around them – just like with non-unions in bone fractures.
Certain conditions that can increase the risk of implant failure include poorly managed diabetes, certain bone metabolic and congenital disorders, certain medications like glucocorticoids (prednisone), immunosupressants, bisphosphonate medicines like Zometa, Fosamax, Actonel or Boniva and smoking or poor hygiene practices. Furthermore, patients taking medications like these should inform their implant surgeon so they can receive an appropriate treatment strategy.
Other factors can contribute to an increased rate of Tooth Implant failure. Implants may fail early during the healing process or later. An early failure would be defined as any time before osseointegration takes place (healing phase) or when the crown is attached to the implant. Late failure refers to any point at which a tooth has lost its function and its implant is no longer in good condition.
Failures typically begin soon after implants have been placed and can be due to:
Due to inadequate irrigation, the bone can become overheated during surgery. A great amount of force must be applied when placing these implants (too snug fitting implants could cause bone resorption).
Not enough force can be applied to hold implants securely in place (too loose-fitting implants can remain stationary and fail to heal correctly).
Contaminated implant infection has contaminated osteotomy epithelial cells within the osteotomy sites (connective tissue, commonly referred to as scar tissue, fills in the space around an implant instead of bone).
Bone of Poor Quality
Excessive forces during osseointegration. (During healing, the Tooth Implants may not function properly and become immobile, preventing bone connections to the implants) Poor compliance with postoperative medication and/or instructions
Tooth Implants can also lead to rejection due to allergies to titanium alloy components.
Unhygienic practices are often the cause of late success in dental surgeries. Without proper hygiene, some individuals could end up losing their teeth. Unfortunately, some individuals continue this behavior even after having undergone implant surgery due to its perceived weight – sometimes too heavy for the implant itself. Some patients with larger bites may require more implants to distribute pressure more evenly. Implants placed lateral can lead to failure later, so it’s best if teeth and implants are loaded straight up or down (axially). Implants and teeth that are loaded laterally or tangentially can weaken bone and fail. Another potential cause is incorrect placement of implants or inadequate prosthetic teeth or devices. Implants can also fail for various reasons. Some issues can be avoided or controlled, while others require more effort to eradicate. So how can patients best ensure they’re protected and reduce the chance of implant failure? Patients must adhere strictly to their medication instructions and take this chance to quit smoking.
However, the most reliable factor for success is finding an experienced surgeon and dentist. When having your implant performed by a team, make sure not only your implant surgeon is qualified but also that of the dentist who will restore it (put the tooth on implant). Ask lots of questions; request photos of before-and-after photos as well as feedback from previous patients.
Implantology (placing of implants) is a complex and technical procedure. Success relies on proper preparation, knowledge, training and experience – all key elements for success. While training is important, having knowledge in your desired field makes the procedure even more efficient. Make sure your dentist is board certified in implantology and how long they have been placing implants; additionally, ask if they regularly work in this area or have an established relationship with a restorative dentist.