Experienced dentists, who have worked with dental implants, crowns and fixed prosthesis, will be aware that, when well looked after, they can last for a lifetime. Restorations will often look as good as they first did when they were placed on dental implants. However, sometimes the implants show radiographic signs of advancing peri-implantitis and peri-implant mucositis. This is very concerning not just for a dentist, but also for the patient. The question then is, if a person has a missing tooth, is it better to get a dental implant and crown, or a three-unit fixed prosthesis?
When dental implants first came on the scene, many dentists believed that they would be replacements for teeth as good as the real thing. A decade after the first dental implants hit the market, dentists started to see exceptions to this idea, with degenerating bones exposing the implant surface as a result of what we now know to be peri-implantitis. Some dentists failed so badly they had to be removed. These failures falsified the 95% success rate that studies into dental implants had first reported. In a few situations, we know why dental implants fail, but in many more, we simply do not know. This does not bring into question the good that dental implants do. It does, however, show that dental implants are not perfect solutions.
There are a few reasons that scholarship has identified for dental implant failure.
Firstly, some people experience allergy to the metals used in dental implants. A small subset of the population is allergic to aluminum, titanium and vanadium.
Another reason why dental implants fail is due to improper or excessive occlusion. About a third of patients suffer from grinding or clenching bruxism. Furthermore, an implant may have been overloaded or loaded too early with a bare minimum of bone osseointegration. In such situations, the odds of failure escalate. A dentist has to be an expert in the placement of implant-supported crowns and fixed prosthesis.
If you have had a prior periodontal disease, then this could result in trouble ahead. In the old days, people believed that once a tooth was removed, prior periodontal disease went with it. That is not the case. A dentist has to ensure that their patient does not have any prior periodontal disease before they place implants.
The dental implant is one of the greatest dental innovations that the industry has ever produced. Nevertheless, the emergence of peri-implantitis and peri-implant mucositis with such a great frequency has reduced the scope of dental implants. The above named factors in dental implant failure, are a few of the causes for which implants fail. Often, a patient will suffer from multiple factors that hinder the success of implants. As dentists diagnose and plan treatments, they need to carefully consider these limiting factors, explaining each of them to their patients as they decide on the best treatment course. In many instances, having traditional restorative procedures is a safer bet than placing dental implants. The conversation between dentist and patient is vital in determining the course to follow.