I was asked by one of our patients considering dental implants- “what is your failure rate on them?” While I can quote a number, the real question is to each practitioner and how they practice. Some may have higher implant problems but try to offer a quicker or less costly options to patients.
My implants and restorative have an absolute failure rate of next to nothing. In my 27 years I have only had to remove a few-maybe 3???
A better question is what is a dentist’s complication rate with surgical and restorative(the tooth or teeth on top of the implant) and less than optimum final result.
Ask the questions: what are some of my potential trouble spots you foresee for the proposed treatment? How did you handle that with other patients that have similar risks? What was the end result?
My office goals are to provide the least amount of trauma and quickest return to health by integrating all dental treatment – start to finish by one practitioner in one location. Removing disease and having a pure foundation, preserving healthy structures, minimal invasive approaches, and regeneration are hallmarks for a successful outcomes and low incidence of problems in my office plans.
It has been my experience, complications are very low when following these tenants. However, like all medical procedures – predicting the best choices amongst all to reduce risk requires study an consideration of medical and dental health.
Sometimes there are reasonable reasons to provide a higher risk surgery or prosthetic restoration (the teeth). People I treat are informed how likely a less than ideal result may occur following treatment. We arrive at this conclusion before surgery, from detailed preop review and study. Not every case is simple. Both the patient and myself, can accept something that is not perfect but still excellent, quite functional and manageable. By far, most implant related issues are due to insufficient planning and not matching the clients goals with the right modality ( type of teeth and their support ).
Implants are both a restorative and surgical treatment requiring adjustment and navigation during the beginning phase of tooth removal and the end phase final restoration. Finally, routine professional maintenance and daily personal hygiene are influenced by the implant surgical placement and the type of restoration on supported by the implants.
Follow-up is important after the implants are restored as implants require fine tuning over the following year of placement to help people clean them right and adjust the bite forces on the new medical device(s). Any restoration in the mouth can change the bite function on the implant and create loads that lead to restoration failure, chipping, bone loss, gum disease and unwanted problems or implant failure. Asking what is the post op plan after seating the new restoration can help you understand ongoing appointment visits and cost.
The surgical and restorative treatment affects how easy it is to personally clean them at home, how frequent professional cleaning visits are needed, what kind of periodic maintenance the restoration might need and repairs (such as chipping or loosing a tooth from the restoration) as well as the cost over time. Accidents and damage can occur to these devices from a variety of life time events.
The implant health is determined by the final restoration and the final restoration longevity/success is determined by the surgical and implant placement. Therefore, it is my belief, it should be done by an expert in surgical regeneration, placement and restoration disciplines. Arriving at a final plan that addresses the person’s goals while also providing long term service requires consultation and consideration of all available options from the beginning to the final restoration and the maintenance that can be expected of the person after receiving the often life changing treatment.