One of the benefits of dental implants is that they are long-lasting restorations, but just how long do they last? We often say that dental implants are a lifetime restoration because they have the ability to last for a lifetime. The first four dental implants placed by Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark were in place when their owner died—four decades after the procedure. We can’t guarantee that your implants will last a lifetime, but our experience—and clinical studies—suggests that they will last a long time.
†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 on the basis of 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 comprehensive picture of the overall implant survival rate for 20 years.
Most dental implant failures occurring within the first few years. In fact, in the Krebs study, most of the implant failures happened during the first six months after placement, with a very small 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 quite likely two.
Avoiding Early Implant Failure
Since most dental implant failures occur in the first year, it’s vital that you avoid these risks of early failure. That means understanding why dental implants tend to fail early. The two primary causes of early failure are peri-implantitis and failed osseointegration, which together accounted 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 the implant to loosen, and, eventually, fail.
Osseointegration is when the bone grows around and secures the dental implant. Failure of osseointegration can be related to your bone quality, smoking, whether bone grafting was used, and the surgical technique of your implant dentist.
Based on these two main factors in dental implant failure, it’s crucial that you commit to taking care of your dental implants and make a careful choice about your implant dentist.
At Rice Dentistry, 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 conducted properly.
If you would like to learn more about how we strive to ensure the long-term survival of your dental implants, please contact Rice Dentistry in Irvine today.