Most studies of dental implant success come from one perspective: the dental practice. Dentists place dental implants and then check their failure rate. This is a good approach, but it’s got some limitations. Studies that are focused in one dental practice don’t give us a good cross-section of dental implants across the industry. Their results may therefore not be indicative of overall survival.
These studies are also limited because a single dental practice can only place so many implants, so the sample size is inevitably limited.
Pooling practices together can mitigate these limitations, but they can’t completely eliminate them. However,this new study uses a completely different data set that avoids these limits. The new study looks at the data from the standpoint of a dental implant retailer. This retailer sold dental implants to nearly all dentists in Austria, giving a cross section of the entire dental profession in the country. And because they sold nearly 70,000 dental implants in the study period, this allows for the largest study yet of dental implant success.
High Success Rate
This study confirmed that dental implants are very successful. Of the 69,377 dental implants sold in the 7-year study period, only 2.78% were returned because the implant had purportedly failed.
That’s a success rate of over 97%, comparable to other studies.
And this study also confirmed that dental implants are most likely to fail early. If they make it through the first year or two, they are likely to last a lifetime. In this study, 80% of dental implant returns occurred within 160 days after implantation. Another 15% failed in the mid-term period, up to 761 days after implantation. Only 5% of implants were returned more than 761 days after implantation.
Why Dental Implants Fail
The study looked at reported reasons for dental implant failure, though this is where we see some of the limitations of this approach to studying dental implant success. Most of the time, dental implants were reported returned because they failed to integrate with the bone: failed osseointegration accounted for 57.5% of losses in the first 160 days, 36.4% of failures in the mid-term period, and 23.1% of failures from 762 days onward. Surgical infection was cited as the cause of failure in 9.7% of implants lost in the early period. During the mid-term period peri-implantitis, gum disease that affects dental implants, accounted for 6.8% of failures, which increased to 19.8% of failures at more than 761 days after implantation.
Where the limits of this approach become clear is in the large numbers of implants returned without a cause of failure listed. No failure was listed for 28.1% of early losses, 45.8% of mid-term losses, and 47.4% of late-term losses. Researchers note that it’s possible these returns reflect dental implants that were opened and returned without being placed, even though they were listed as failures. That would mean that the success rate for implants was even higher.
Dental Implants Are a Great Investment
This study confirms again that dental implants are a great investment for people looking for long-term results. With high success rates, a very attractive appearance, and the ability to last for a lifetime, they are a great choice for anyone who is looking to replace missing teeth.
To learn more about the benefits of dental implants in Savannah, please call (912) 234-8282 today for an appointment with an implant dentist at Beyond Exceptional Dentistry.