Clinical Data on Implant Survival Rates
Most studies looking at dental implant survival rates are relatively short, 5-8 years, but a few good studies go out to 20 years. We will summarize these studies below:
†The original population of this study was 48 individuals, but 19 died before the follow-up period, so the data reflects only implants in the remaining 29 individuals.
‡Although the study is 20 years long, the survival rate is calculated based on 17 years.
Although many of these studies are relatively small, the Krebs study makes up for them, using comprehensive data from an implant manufacturer to give a complete picture of the overall implant survival rate for 20 years.
Most dental implant failures occur within the first few years. In the Krebs study, most implant failures happened during the first six months after placement, with a minimal number occurring after five years. With dental implant failures becoming less frequent after the first year, it seems likely that most, if not all, of the dental implants still in place at 20 years will last at least another decade and probably two.
Learning from Dental Implant Successes
The first dental implant was placed in 1965. The patient who got that first set of dental implants, Gösta Larsson, passed away in 2006, with his original implants in place more than forty years after receiving them.
The second patient ever to get dental implants was Sven Johansson, who got them in 1967. 2015 marked 48 years that Mr. Johansson had his implant-supported dentures.
Mr. Johansson came to get dental implants serendipitously. Having lost all his teeth by age 40–as was not uncommon with people born before the middle of the 20th century–he was unhappy with his dentures. They didn’t fit well, making it hard for him to talk and even harder for him to eat. He was self-conscious in public, so he avoided getting together with people.
Mr. Johansson was a cab driver, and one day he picked up a passenger who wanted to be taken to the clinic of Dr. Brånemark. This passenger turned out the be Mr. Larsson, the first implant patient. When he heard about dental implants, Mr. Johansson marched into the clinic and requested the procedure.
Mr. Johansson got 11 dental implants used to support permanently affixed implant-supported dentures made of gold and acrylic.
What You Can Do to Make Your Dental Implants Last 50 Years or More
Getting dental implants placed is one thing, and having them last 50 years is another. There are many essential elements to making dental implants last.
- First, it’s crucial to ensure that the implants are good quality, as is the denture or other restoration that will top them. The best material for a dental implant is titanium. It’s corrosion-resistant and integrates well with the body’s hard tissues. Titanium is used for other situations, too, like knee and hip replacements.
- Next, it’s important that patients have a good, longstanding relationship with their Irvine implant dentist. Dental implant care–like other oral health care–has to change as patients age to meet changing needs. It may mean more visits or changes in home care and/or diet.
- Maybe, most importantly, patients need to take care of their dental implants like natural teeth. That means brushing and flossing twice a day and visiting your Irvine dental implant dentist at least twice a year.
If you want dental implants that will last 50 years–or more–you have to commit to your implants, Irvine dentist, and personal care.
Avoid Early Implant Failure
Since most dental implant failures occur in the first year, it’s vital that you avoid these risks of early loss. That means understanding why dental implants tend to fail early. The two primary causes of premature failure are peri-implantitis and failed osseointegration. These together account for about two-thirds of all dental implant failures.
- Peri-implantitis is a form of gum disease that attacks dental implants. It’s an infection of the dental implant that damages the bone around the implant, causing it to loosen and eventually fail. This is why it’s imperative that you take care of your dental implants like you would natural teeth, or you might lose them to peri-implantitis.
- Osseointegration is when the bone grows around and secures the dental implant. Failure of osseointegration can be related to your bone quality, smoking or using other tobacco products, whether bone grafting was used, and the surgical technique of your implant dentist.
Based on these two main factors in dental implant failure, you must commit to taking care of your dental implants and make a careful choice about your implant dentist. At Rice Dentistry in Irvine, we work with a periodontist, a specialist in the gums and bone surrounding teeth, to help ensure that the placement of the dental implant and management of the tissue around the dental implant are both appropriately conducted.
Renew Your Smile in Irvine with Long-lasting Dental Implants
Dr. Rice in Irvine, CA, is the number one dental implant dentist in the area. He’s highly skilled and has placed hundreds of dental implants. If you want your dental implants to last your lifetime, just like Sven Johansson and Gösta Larsson, pick the best dental implant dentist in Irvine. Call (949) 551-5902 or make an appointment online. Your new smile is waiting.