Dental implants are the most recommended tooth replacement option. The majority of patients who receive dental implants experience success, meaning their implant lasts for many years or even the rest of their life. But on some occasions dental implants fail. There are a variety of reasons for that, and many of them can be avoided.
What is the typical dental implant failure rate? Here’s what you can expect and how to avoid dental implant failure.
Average Implant Failure Rate
Studies have shown that somewhere between 5% and 10% of dental implants fail. On the other hand, that means that there is between a 90% and 95% success rate, which are very good odds in terms of dental and medical procedures. The vast majority of dental implants are successful and provide long lasting form and function.
What happens when a dental implant fails?
A dental implant consists of a titanium post that is surgically placed in the jaw to act as an artificial tooth root. When all goes well, the implant fuses with the bone through a process called osseointegration to form a solid hold. Then a porcelain crown is attached to the top.
However, in some cases the dental implant does not properly fuse with the bone. When osseointegration fails to occur, the implant may come loose or even fall out.
In other cases an infection occurs at the implant site, called peri-implantitis, which causes bone loss around the implant due to inflammation. The symptoms of peri-implantitis are similar to the symptoms of gum disease, including bleeding and swollen gums.
What causes a dental implant to fail?
There are a few different causes for dental implant failure, which include:
- Bone loss in the jaw. If a patient suffers from low bone density, such as in the case of osteoporosis, the jaw bone may fail to bond with the implant in the first place or pull away from the implant later.
- Trauma to the implant site. A blow to the jaw or an injury in the area of the implant could cause it to come loose or fall out.
- Poor oral hygiene. Failing to take care of your teeth can cause excess plaque to build up on the teeth surrounding the implant as well as the implant itself, which can lead to peri-implantitis.
What can you do to help your dental implant to be successful?
Whether you are planning to get a dental implant or you already have one, there are some steps you can take to increase your chances of success.
- Brush your teeth twice a day. Dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day to remove plaque and keep your teeth healthy. This also applies to your dental implant.
- Avoid smoking and tobacco products. Smoking and the use of tobacco has been linked to dental implant failure, as well as gum disease and other oral health conditions.
- Protect your implant from damage. If you play sports or do strenuous recreational activities, you may want to wear a mouth guard to protect your dental implant and your natural teeth. This also applies if you grind your teeth.
- Take steps to preserve your bone health. If regular health screenings reveal that you suffer from bone loss, you should take the necessary steps to preserve your bone density. Whether your doctor recommends medication or nutritional supplements, preserving your overall bone health will also affect your jaw bone.
Ask the Experts at Holzinger Periodontics and Dental Implants
A successful dental implant begins with preparation and proper placement. Holzinger Periodontics and Dental Implants carefully evaluates your jaw bone to ensure it is healthy enough to support an implant. If not, we can perform a bone graft procedure first to prepare the jaw for an implant. Proper preparation combined with accurate placement creates a foundation of success for your implant. The rest of the responsibility lies with you to keep your mouth healthy so that your implant will last a lifetime.
Call 860-347-8457 to schedule a consultation at our Middletown office or 860-224-0433 for our New Britain office. You can also request an appointment. We look forward to restoring your smile in whatever way is best for you.