How Successful Are Dental Implants?

How Successful Are Dental Implants?

Are you scheduled to have dental implant surgery and are nervous about the procedure? It’s always natural to feel nervous before any dental surgery, but when it comes to the dental implant process, you can rest assured knowing that they have a success rate of 98%. Implant failure is very avoidable with proper care, but we’ll go over everything you need to know about dental implant surgery below to bring you more peace of mind and ease your nerves.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants replace an entire missing tooth – from the root to the actual tooth itself. Like most other things in the medical industry, implants are made from titanium and then topped with a replacement tooth (a dental crown), often made from porcelain because of its colour and ability to mimic the appearance of natural teeth. The titanium screw will act as the new root of your tooth, therefore, it will be surgically attached to your jawbone. This procedure is usually completed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons or periodontists; those who specialize in surgery for the face, neck, jaw and head. You’ll need to heal from the dental implant surgery first before the replacement tooth is added.

Because of this process, you will need to have adequate bone and healthy gums in order to see optimal dental implant success. But more on that below.

Red-haired dental implant patient smiling during teeth cleaning

The Dental Implant Success Rate

Overall, they do have a success rate of 98%. With the proper care and good overall oral health, dental implants can last a lifetime. But implant survival rates will depend on a few different factors: the state of your gum tissue, if you have enough bone, if you are in good standing health (you don’t have an autoimmune disease, gum disease, and more), and if you practice good oral hygiene habits.

Dental implants may not be a viable option for you if you fall under one of the following categories:

Gum Disease

Also referred to as periodontal disease, this type of disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. It infects and damages soft tissue but can also cause bone loss. Dental implants require strong and healthy gums, as well as a strong jawbone since the implant will need to properly fuse with your bone.

Diabetes

Having diabetes may not fully disqualify you from receiving dental implants, however, you should have your diabetes under control. Having uncontrolled diabetes can increase your chances of dental implant failure because your body won’t be able to heal properly.

Take Blood Thinners

Again, taking blood thinners will not fully disqualify you from receiving dental implants, but your oral surgeon may request that you lower your dosage under doctor supervision if possible. If properly managed throughout the entire implant procedure, the success rate can be high, however, lowering the dosage in consultation with your doctor can assist with the healing process.

Heavy Smoker

If you are a smoker, your oral and maxillofacial surgeon will discuss the complications you can experience during implant treatment. Nicotine negatively affects our gums, bone density, and even reduces blood flow. If you continue to smoke during gum and bone healing, your dental implants may never even heal properly at all.

Cancer

If you’re currently going through chemotherapy, it’s best to wait until your treatments are over to receive dental implants, otherwise, it can affect your bone density and strength; the number one thing needed to support a dental implant.
Toronto dental hygienist helping patient pick the right dental implant

A Gum & Bone Graft May Be Needed

Gum and bone grafting are used to increase the amount of gums or bone needed to support implant placement. Healing will obviously take longer, but it’s a necessary step in implant dentistry, especially if you want to restore your smile with beautiful and permanent new teeth.

Typically, a bone graft is taken from a part of your hip and fused with your jawbone to promote stranger and healthier bone growth. Sometimes, they can also come from donors or synthetic materials. When it comes to a gum graft, gum will typically be taken from the roof of your mouth and fused with the gums that are receding. Rest assured knowing that it’s actually a lot more common for people to need a bone graft first before receiving a dental implant and the success rate is still just as high.

So ... How Successful Are Dental Implants?

If you have missing teeth and you’ve been referred to a dental specialist who performs this type of oral and maxillofacial surgery, you’re naturally going to have a lot of questions. Many patients who’ve received dental implants are thrilled with the outcome, especially since this type of procedure has a success rate of 98%. Even if you require a gum or bone graft first, which is very common, implant failures are still avoidable, especially if you follow proper oral hygiene habits and follow the aftercare instructions laid out by your dental team.

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