According to clinical studies, 96% of dental implants are successful. To clarify what success means, researchers employ different criteria. Some researchers consider immediate results when calculating success. That is, they look at how well the implant has integrated with the bone and gums (osseointegration). Other researchers base their studies on dental implant success over a long period of a couple years.
Though 96% is a good number, the failure rate of 4% reported is still significant. This underlines the need for getting dental implants from qualified and credible dental practitioners who have a track record of successful implants.
Requirements for dental implant success
When you have a healthy jaw and gums and when your overall health is good, your dental implant is more likely to be a success.
Good oral hygiene is also important. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth, you’ll get gingivitis and periodontal disease. Whereas dental implants cannot get cavities, poor oral hygiene could still result in peri-implantitis, which is a gum disease suffered by people who have dental implants.
After you get a dental implant, your dentist will show you how to take care of it. For continued health of the implant, it’s also important to visit your dentist regularly.
Factors that impact dental impact success
Generally, an implant that lasts for years without presenting any complications is considered successful. There are however factors that differ from one person to another and these might influence the rate of success. For instance, your implant could be successful but if you suffer from impact injuries to your mouth after surgery, this could influence healing.
Factors that will affect how successful an implant is include:
The presence of gum disease and tooth decay.
An implant should not be done on a person with gum disease as diseased gums will make osseointegration difficult. If you develop gum disease after surgery, this will also slow down the healing process, reducing the rate of success.
Smoking and tobacco use
Smoking is also among the main reasons why implants fail to integrate. Smokers are usually advised to stop smoking some weeks before the surgery is performed. It’s also advised to not smoke within 2 weeks of a dental implant surgery.
One of the effects of diabetes is slowness in healing and gum inflammation. This in turn affects the bonding of the implant to the jawbone.
The health of the jawbone will impact how well a dental implant bonds to the bone. If you have been missing teeth for a long time, your jaw bone will have deteriorated and the dentist might deem the bone insufficient for supporting an implant.
In such a case, bone grafting will be necessary to add bulk to the bone.
Staging refers to the whole process from extraction to implant placement. More success is experienced where a tooth is extracted with socket preservation/bone grafting, then several months are allowed for healing before an implant is placed. Some implants are done in one stage, depending on the anatomy of an individual.
Diet affects dental implant success in the following ways:
- A balanced diet keeps your gums healthy and when you have healthy gums, your implant will stay in place.
- Hard foods will aggravate the surgical area. Eat soft foods after surgery.
- Chewing on the region with the implant will inflame the area.