Dental Implant Failure
Unfortunately, not all dental implants are successful. Dental implant failure happens to patients with metabolic disorders, those who smoke, those who don't have sufficient jawbone density, and those who have suffered a surgical error. Learn more about implant failure in this video from Dr. Sasan Khodabakhsh.View transcript
Hi, again, this is Dr. Sasan Khodabakhsh with Summit Point Dental Implant Center. Today, I'm going to be speaking about something quite serious, and that is implant failures. I hope this helps anyone out there that might be watching to avoid costly errors or mistakes. So this is something that most dentists don't like to talk about, is about implant failures. But they do exist, and I want to go ahead and talk about some of the reasons why. Dental implants have been around for many years, and there's a lot of literature and research done to show how they really work and are a great benefit to a lot of people. But as more and more people that are getting dental implants, especially in the last 10 or 15 years, we're starting to see some of the failures that are coming in and we want to go ahead and discuss that. So hopefully that may be something you can avoid. So I'm here to talk to you about five reasons why dental implants fail. The first reason is metabolic. This is really important. This means that something that's going on in your body that is causing the implant to fail. And in most cases, when the implant fails, it actually wants to come out of your body on its own. One main metabolic reason is diabetes. So if you're a diabetic and want to get a dental implant, you really want to take a look at your A1C level. If your A1C is less than seven, you're usually a good candidate for dental implants. If you're over seven, usually your body will have a hard time healing, most likely cause that implant to fail that was placed. So basically your diabetes needs to be under control before receiving a dental implant. The second reason is smoking. I know there are doctors out there that will agree or disagree with this, but it is a known fact that smoking will cause constriction of blood vessels in the bone. And when you place an implant, you want that blood supply to be there available for the bone to heal around the implant so the implant can integrate. And usually, people who are heavy smokers, there's less blood filling in around that bone to heal, and what would cause that implant to fail in most cases. There's a higher risk of implants failing with people who smoke a lot. Now there are people out there that are going to argue that say, "Oh, well, I smoke and I have like implants placed and have had no problems." And now that is true, but we do see that there was a correspondence with people who do smoke versus people who don't smoke having a better, higher implant success rate than people who do smoke. Another reason is that usually, we don't know. Sometimes we place an implant on a perfectly healthy patient in the perfect site, and for one reason or another, that implant just doesn't take and doesn't integrate and now has to be removed. It's very rare for that to happen. It's kind of your body kind of rejects it. It's not metabolic, you're not diabetic or anything like that, you don't smoke. So sometimes the reasons are unknown. The fourth reason is insufficient bone. Sometimes doctors want to place a dental implant in the area that's already been healed where there's not sufficient bone in place or it's near a sinus. So they place a shorter implant or a narrow implant and the blood supply to that bone because it's thinner is less. Usually long-term success of that implant is not going to be very good. We doctors want to place implants where there's sufficient bone, height, and width available. So we can place a right size implant to have the better long-term success rate that we're looking for. So don't be afraid to go to a dentist that's willing to be able to graft that site, whether it's already healed or it's a new extraction site. You definitely want to get that bone grafted before you get that dental implant placed. The fifth reason is surgical error. This can be based on the doctor's own experience level of placing dental implants. A less experienced doctor is going to have a higher failure rate than a doctor that's been placing thousands of implants over his career. Statistically, implants have a 97% success rate, and that's what we all strive for. So out of every 100 implants about 3 will fail and you may be asking yourself, "So what if my implant fails, what do I do?" If you're healthy, we usually take out that implant. We clean the area and we just try again. We either sometimes graft it with bone and wait a couple of months and then go back in again. And in some cases, if there's sufficient bone, we go ahead and place the implant the same day after everything has been cleaned out. I hope this video helped you. Again, my name is Dr. Sasan Khodabakhsh with Summit Point Dental Implant Center. Thank you for watching.