One of the best benefits of dental implants is their amazingly high success rate. Overall, scientific studies predict a success rate for dental implants around 98%. However, not everyone can enjoy such a high success rate. There are some variables that might make your personal risk of implant failure higher or lower. It’s important to take these into consideration when getting dental implants.
This article goes over some recent research about what impacts dental implant failure risk. A large recent study showed just two factors had a significant impact on failure rates: male gender and osteoporosis. This research is general, and won’t necessarily predict your individual outcome. The best way to understand your personal odds for dental implant success is to talk to a Sydney implant dentist, like those at My Hills Dentist.
A Large Retrospective Study
For this blog, we’ll mostly look at information from a single, large retrospective study. This study offers a few benefits that make it worth considering. First, it’s very recent, as it was published just last year, in 2022. Second, it includes a large number of subjects: more than 4,500 dental implants placed at the clinic. Finally, it includes comprehensive health data that lets us look at many potential factors.
However, the study does have some limitations. As we said above, it’s all data from a single clinic, so it doesn’t let us look at the role of implant dentists in implant success or failure. The clinic in question is also in the United States, so its insight might not be fully relevant to us in Sydney. When necessary, we’ll look at demographic data in the two places to make sure we’re drawing the right conclusions. Perhaps the biggest limitation of the study is that the average follow-up is just under three years. This means the study can’t tell us anything about long-term survival rates. On the other hand, since most initial failures of dental implants occur within the first year, the study is long enough to tell us about initial success rates.
Factors That Increase Implant Failure
In this study, the success rate of dental implants was high, as expected. Only 1.1% of implants failed in the follow-up period, a success rate of nearly 99%.
In looking at the failure rates, researchers only came up with two factors that affected failure rates: osteoporosis and gender.
Osteoporosis and Dental Implant Failure
The biggest impact on dental implant failure risk was osteoporosis. Patients with osteoporosis were more than 4.5 times more likely to experience dental implant failure.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which your bones lose density. Since dental implants depend on the support of your bones, having more porous bones reduces the amount of bone available to support dental implants. Although not all studies show that osteoporosis increases the failure risk for dental implants, they usually show that the condition reduces the amount of bone support for implants.
One of the advantages of the digital dental implant procedure that our Sydney implant dentists use is that it lets us assess the density of bone at your implant site or sites. We can analyze your risk and recommend strategies to maximize your chances of success.
Gender and Dental Implant Failure
In this study, men were about twice as likely to experience dental implant failure as women, after correcting for other potential factors. This isn’t the first study to show this correlation. Most large studies of dental implant survival show that women have lower failure rates than men.
Why do men have a higher implant failure rate? The explanation is likely quite simple: oral hygiene. In the US, men are less likely to brush their teeth than women. Unfortunately, the same is true in Australia. In a 2020 study published in the Australian Dental Journal, 98% of women brush with toothpaste at least once a day, compared to only 95% of men. This highlights the importance of good oral hygiene for maintaining your dental implants.
Factors That Don’t Affect Implant Failure
We’re not going to talk about all the dozens of potential variables the study considers, but don’t impact dental implant survival. We’re just going to focus on a few that seem surprising or otherwise noteworthy.
Immediate Implant Placement
One of the main goals of this study was to consider whether placing dental implants at the time of extraction (immediate implant placement) was as successful as waiting for the site to heal (delayed implant placement).
This study showed that both approaches to implant placement had similar success rates.
Perhaps the most surprising result of this study was that tobacco use didn’t have an impact on dental implant success. Some previous studies have shown that smoking and other tobacco use could increase your risk of implant failure by as much as three times.
In this study, tobacco use increased the risk of failure by 76%, but that was not enough to reach the 95% confidence level for researchers to say the increased failure rate was due to tobacco use. However, in this study, tobacco users were less likely to get immediate implant placement, perhaps showing that the implant dentists were being more careful in these cases.
We’ve said before that age is not a barrier to getting dental implants. This study showed there was a 0% increase in failure rate associated with increasing age. As long as you are healthy enough for surgery and pay attention to other potential risks, there is no reason why you can’t get dental implants at any age.
Get Dental Implants in Sydney
With more research confirming that dental implants have a very high success rate, you might be considering them more seriously. Let the Sydney implant dentists at My Hills Dentist evaluate your overall and oral health to help you make this important decision.
Please call (02) 9686 7375 or use our online form to request an appointment at My Hills Dentist, serving the Sydney area from our office in Baulkham Hills, near Crestwood Reserve.