Dental implants, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, have an overall success rate of 95 percent, and when placed by a specialist, research shows even higher rates of implant success. That means that dental implant failures occur in approximately 5 percent of implants placed in the U.S.

Why Do Dental Implants Fail? Inexperienced Practitioners

According to a 2014 study, many dental implant failures can be attributed to the clinicians performing the implant placement procedures, with inexperience at the root of the problem. For this study, researchers reviewed the records of patients who had received full arch upper and/or lower fixed, complete dentures over a period of 10 years.

Results of that examination showed that 12 percent of dental implants failed when clinicians had less than 5 years of experience with dental implant placement procedures, and implant failures were also twice as likely when procedures were performed by clinicians who had performed less than 50 implant placement surgeries.

Why Do Dental Implants Fail? Diabetes, Bruxism, Other Common Factors

Other frequent causes of implant failures noted in the above-mentioned study were diabetes and bruxism (habitual teeth grinding or clenching). According to researchers, nearly every third patient with diabetes of a history of bruxism experienced implant failure within the 10 year study period.

According to researchers, other common implant failure risk factors include prosthesis type, smoking and implant location. However, these factors were shown to be much less significant to the long-term success of dental implants than were practitioner skill and experience, diabetes and bruxism.

How Washington DC Patients Can Help Reduce Their Risk Of Implant Failures

As shown in by this research, your choice of practitioner to place your dental implants may be the most important decision you make throughout the treatment process. Dental implant placement is surgery, so great results are much more likely if you choose a qualified Washington DC oral and maxillofacial surgeon to perform yours – one who has been in practice for many years and has performed lots of implant placements. As dentistry’s surgical specialists, these professionals have much more extensive training in these procedures than the average general dentist that places implants – which translates into lower rates of implant failures.

Other things that patients can do to help prevent implant failures include being vigilant about oral hygiene to prevent infection and/or gum disease, and seeing their dentist regularly for professional cleanings and check-ups, since most implant problems, when caught early, can be successfully treated, averting implant failure.

For more information on dental implant failure, contact our office in the Washington, DC area at (202) 386-7100.