Dental implants are among the most successful restoration procedures in dentistry. Studies have shown a five-year success rate of approximately 95% for lower jaw implants and 90% for upper jaw implants. The success rate for upper jaw implants is a little lower because the upper jaw is less dense than the lower jaw. This makes implantation more difficult for the dental implant specialist and osseointegration (the process where the implant integrates with the jaw bone) to take place.
Dental implants may fail for a number of reasons including:
- Implant Positioning. If the placement of the implant is not ideal, the osseointegration process may not occur properly.
- Breakage. Implants can sometimes fracture or break.
- Infection. An infection or an inflammatory condition in the gum or bone.
- Smoking. Smoking decreases the healing ability of the body and blood flow necessary for proper healing.
- Poor Oral Hygiene. Poor hygiene can lead to the development of peri-implantitis around dental implants, which is similar to how gum disease forms around the natural tooth.
While some of these factors are the responsibility of the patient (i.e. smoking and poor oral hygiene), the experience of the specialist doing the implants will play the biggest role in the success rates. It’s imperative to find a highly qualified dental implant specialist when having dental implants.
As you do your research to find the best dental surgeon for your procedure, be sure to get answers to the following:
- Ask your dentist if he or she specializes in dental implant placement.
- What training beyond 4 years of dental school do they have related to dental implant placement? Keep in mind, weekend courses and seminars are designed to enhance advanced training, not make a general dentist an implant specialist!
- How do they manage complications related to dental implant placement or any other “oral surgery” procedures they perform?
- Ask your dentist are there specialists in the area who are better qualified to place dental implants?
- Does the dentist utilize advanced technologies such as Cone Beam CT guided technology on implant cases?
- Read online reviews and testimonials. Does the dentist have mostly positive reviews? What do the negative reviews say?
By getting answers to the questions above, you’ll be able to make a well-informed decision as to what dentist to work with and you’ll have the greatest success rates with your dental implants!