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Leading Causes of Implant Failure

Leading Causes of Implant Failure

Failure of an implant performed by Dr. Bulloch is a very low occurrence. He maintains an average 98% success rate in placing implants. To help achieve this high success rate, Dr. Bulloch attended an additional four years of intensive hands-on training beyond dental school. He has placed thousands of implants over those years. Since then, Dr. Bulloch has consistently placed 25 or more implants a week in his surgical implant-based practice.

Although there is a very high success rate, failures do happen on occasion. Good news is there are certain precautions you can taken as a patient to help minimize the risk of having an implant fail. Being educated ahead of time is the first step. Doing research and asking questions are your best friends when it comes to making a decision regarding your oral health. Here are a few factors that improve implant placement success rates.

Choosing a Specialist

First and foremost, the one thing that brings down the chances of a successful implant most is the person performing the procedure. You will come across many general dentists that advertise implant placement. General dentists are well trained as the frontline in oral health care. They are great for your regular cleanings, cavities, fillings, and screenings. When it comes to oral surgery, they have not had the same caliber of training as a specialist. At times the additional training only amounts to a weekend seminar. Studies consistently show success rates are significantly lower for general dentist as compared to oral surgeons.

The absolute best thing any person can do to increase their odds of having a successful implant is to go to a specialist. All oral surgeons have attended a minimum of 4-6 years of additional training beyond dental school to specifically perform these types of procedures with a high level of precision and efficiency.

Osseointegration Failure

Osseointegration failure occurs when the implant fails to integrate with the bone properly following placement. There are several factors that can lead to this occurrence including: smoking, uncontrolled diabetes, low bone density, gum disease, and of course poor oral hygiene. These are not all the factors, but these are the most common to consider before having this procedure done.

Symptoms to keep an eye out for include pain, bleeding, mobility of the implant fixture, and drainage or pus seeping around the surgery area. If you notice any of these occurring, know our treatment for you does not end at the end of the procedure. Always feel welcome to call our office with any concerns and we will bring you in and take a look.

Peri-Implantitis

Peri-implantitis is a chronic disease of the gums and bone that supports the implant fixture. Symptoms for this are generally the same as osseointegration failure (bleeding, pus, pain). One difference is osseointegration failure occurs before the implant fixture has fully integrated with the bone and peri-implantitis occurs after the implant has integrated with the surrounding bone. Peri-implantitis can be cleared up with more frequent cleaning, antibiotics, laser therapies, and further surgery if needed. This is a very difficult disease to correct and may lead to loss of function or a decline in aesthetics.

Component Failure

There are many companies out there that provide implant fixtures and components. Many of these offer their components at relatively low prices, but the trade-off is compromising the integrity of the component. Cheaper brands may lead to broken screws, fractured fixtures, or loosened abutments.

All components used here at Precision Implant and Oral Surgery come from highly reputable companies that provide quality components that most often last a lifetime. We do not compromise on the quality of the component. All of our patients can rest assured knowing they are receiving components that are the best in the business. Once placed, these are as close to natural teeth as you can get.

Proper Implant Use and Precise Placement

There are several types of implants. Some are long and thin, some are short and wide, and others are “mini” implants. Each of these has its purpose. Shorter and wider implants are used to support molars. Longer and thinner implants are used with your aesthetic teeth (front of your smile). Mini implants are an exception, however. Rarely do we use mini implants in our practice because of their high failure rate. They can not support the same amount of force caused through normal chewing that normal sized implants can handle. Mini implants should especially not be used in the upper jaw because the bone is less dense.

Hand drills are used to drill into the bone to make room for the implant fixture. One problem presented is the amount of “walking” that occurs during drilling. This is when drilling at an angle, the drill bit will naturally move slightly further toward the downward slope which leads to an incorrectly placed implant. Dr. Bulloch has developed a guidewire system that combats this exact problem. There is less drilling required with much higher accuracy of placement.

Safety is Priority

Your safety is our top priority. All methods and processes are continually evaluated to make sure each patient receives quality care. This includes staying up to date on the latest safest methods of placing implants to make sure they are successful. To address any concerns or questions you have, please give our office a call! (435)652-1445