Dental implants are, in general, very successful. Studies show an overall success rate of 98%, and once they are successful, they have very good odds of lasting a lifetime.
But even a small risk is worth trying to avoid. That’s why it’s good to understand what factors increase your risk of implant failure.
According to a new study, there’s really only one major risk factor: surgical complications. That’s right, this new meta-analysis shows that your odds of implant success aren’t linked to you or your risk factors, but to the dentist, and their ability to avoid complications during your procedure.
This is likely a key mechanism that explains why experienced implant dentists have much higher success rates than inexperienced ones.
Surgical Complications Increase Risk of Early Failure
Scientists at the Mayo clinic looked at over 8500 dental implants placed from 2000 to 2014. This makes it one of the largest studies of dental implants ever performed. Therefore, we should put significant trust in its results.
Researchers in this study were interested in early implant failure, when implants either don’t integrate with the bone or otherwise fail in the first year. Since about half of all implant failures take place at that time, identifying these risk factors could dramatically increase implant success rates.
So researchers looked at numerous attributes of the dental implant procedure as well as patient risk factors. Their results showed that only one attribute was significantly linked to early implant failure: surgical complications. This study shows that people who experience surgical complications are 16 times more likely to have early implant failure.
This is remarkable, given all the risk factors that previous studies have identified as linked to implant failure, such as smoking, the use of antidepressants, and even the use of osteoporosis medications. Even previous gum disease was not linked to early implant failure.
And this study confirms that early loading of dental implants–putting a crown or bridge on the implant the same day it’s placed–is not a risk factor for implant failure, either with single tooth implants or full teeth in one day.
Experienced Dentists Can Reduce Complication Risk
The results of the study should give you pause when considering your implant dentist. If surgical complications are the number one risk factor linked to early implant failure, then it becomes even more critical that you choose your implant dentist with care.
This is not the first study to call attention to dentist factors in implant success. Previous studies have shown that the failure rate for inexperienced implant dentists may be five times higher than for experienced dentists, and may be as high as 27%!.
Are You Looking for an Experienced Implant Dentist in Irvine?
With the results from this study, we see again how critical it is to choose your implant dentist with care. You want to make sure you select one who has significant implant experience.
Dr. Scott Rice has been serving patients in Irvine for more than 30 years, making him one of the most experienced dentists in the area. He also works with a very experienced periodontist, Dr. Nicolas Ravon who has decades of dental implant experience, on top of his training as a specialist.