Dental Implant Success Rates
(Define Implants Success: All implants look great on day 1)
After 10 years, can you still smile with confidence, do the gums around your implants bleed or get infected recurrently, are there metal parts showing in your smile line these days, are all the implant teeth still there or have some broken off or been lost to Peri-implantitis?
It takes 5 to 10 years before an implant dentist knows how successful his/her treatment is. Differences in technique, implant design and follow-up (regular hygienist sessions, regular examinations and Xrays by clinicians who know their field)… have a massive impact on long-term appearance and function.
The techniques we employ to ensure optimal implant position and long term health of peri-implant tissues (bone and gum) have changed drastically over time. We now know that if an implant is placed too close to the bone surface that this will frequently cause early recession and metal parts becoming exposed. The implant may still be good for chewing but if exposed metal shows when you smile, it’s not a good look.
The design of the implants and the parts we attach to them to support the new teeth have evolved over the last 4 decades. Improved surface treatment of the titanium means that the bone in the jaw attaches more readily to the titanium these days…thread design evolution allows newly fitted implants to fit more firmly in the bone from day 1 meaning that immediate teeth/teeth in a day/early loading are now possible where they weren’t 20 years ago. Patients get their teeth sooner these days – in the 90s they would wait 12+months for implants to be ready to accept the new teeth
Scientific studies have established beyond doubt that implant patients who see their hygienist and dentist regularly (every 3-6 months) will keep their implants for much longer. Implants require more careful monitoring and maintenance than natural teeth so the potential for things to veer off course (ending in failure 3-5 years after fitting) is much higher in implant teeth than it is in natural ones.
Smoking deserves a special mention. Smokers have much higher rates of failure of their implants.
It is well established that in medicine the experience of the clinician/surgeon has a big impact on successful outcomes. Implantology and dental implant surgery are no exception. Experienced clinicians have higher success rates both short and long term – ie more of their implants ‘take’ in the first place (we call it successful Osseointegration or integration) and those implants will last longer in each patient with a lower risk of long term complications.
Beyond the advantage of experience, the practice of self-audit, reflection and updating and changing protocols to improve success rates (often with an integrated CPD programme) is proven.
The ability to act on constructive criticism and personal reflection, the nurturing of an open and honest working environment, where team members feel confident enough to speak out with their concerns without fear of reprisal. All this has an impact on success rates (just ask the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS trust)
Placing Implants since 1995 – 2022
Auditing your own results, being self-critical. The benefit of the long-term analysis to guide the future – will they last 20 years, not just the minimum 10 years?
It’s impossible to use someone else’s work as a guide; we maintain the precision and complexity of our own records
Without seeing things for ourselves, we can’t tell people what their options are.
And so with that in mind, we are happy to offer free consultations, as this is a big decision for most people. We are careful to take budget, comfort and appearance into account when explaining all the available choices and there is never any pressure to proceed, and certainly not on the day.
We set out to be a friendly practice and try to provide everybody with what’s right for them, at an affordable cost. We hope our dentist reviews give that impression.
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