Reducing late-stage implant failures

20 June 2022
3 min read

Dental implants are an increasingly popular, high-quality treatment option for patients with partial or complete edentulism. As a premium solution, patients have high expectations and want their investment to last. In the overwhelming majority of cases, dental implants are highly successful and long-lasting. However, as with any procedure there is the potential for failure and complications.

Early failures are usually related to the osseointegration process not going as planned. The hallmark of this is excessive mobility of the implant, which indicates that secondary stability from osseointegration is not being sufficiently achieved. Early implant failures are associated with poor or insufficient bone quality and/or volume, inadequate primary stability and overloading the implant. Other factors can complicate healing around the implant, causing fibrous scar tissue around it instead of reliable osseointegration. These risk factors include: active infection, smoking, and using implants with design features not suited to host conditions (too narrow, too long, the surface, the thread design, etc.). With these factors known, good case selection and treatment planning can largely help to avoid early failure, and this is born out in the very high success rate of dental implants.

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