Any loss of teeth is a highly traumatic experience, whatever the causes. But not all is lost – advanced dental implants are scientifically proven to replace teeth with full functionality and good aesthetic results. In the hands of an experienced oral surgeon, they can be applied for nearly every patient in almost all scenarios after tooth loss.
It is important to keep in mind that while the success rate of dental implants is excellent with over 95% in long-term trials, they can still fail under certain circumstances without proper care and treatment. I differentiate between early and late implant failures.
Early implant failures are mainly associated with either highly challenging situations in immune-compromised (e.g. post-cancer situations) patients or rare post-operative infections. Correct surgical protocol and case selection can help to prevent the very seldom occurrence of early implant failures. In accordance to the scientific literature regarding the biological tolerance to implants, I personally never experienced an implant failure due to a non-tolerance or allergic reaction. Medical grade type-4 titanium is shown to be biocompatible to the human body.
Some evidence suggest early implant failure can seldomly also be caused by overheating the bone while the drilling process which is why I routinely apply a gentle, minimum pressure drilling protocol under constant saline irrigation with high-quality implant drills.
Late implant failures, though still very rare, are a little more common than early ones. They are largely attributed to a slowly progressing, painless condition called peri-implantitis. Like in Periodontitis around natural teeth, peri-implantitis results in progressive bone loss, which can ultimately lead to an implant failure, even after many years. It’s chronic and mostly absolutely painless in nature, which is why it is seldomly detected by the patient before it reaches a non/reparable stage. To citate one of my early teachers, who was one of the leading implantologist in Germany:
He who says that he never experienced any peri-implantitis cases in his practice, just didn’t do enough implants in his career”.
The good news is, that peri-implantitis can be managed very effectively by our professional cleaning protocols and proper home care. Severe cases may require certain augmentation efforts for restoring the lost peri-implant bone.
With this said, I want to encourage everybody suffering from tooth loss to consider the undeniable benefits of dental implants. But the second message I want to stress, is that dental implants still require the same professional attention and home care as natural teeth. While they can’t develop dental decay, the gums and bone around implants is still as vulnerable as around natural teeth. Only proper hygiene can maintain the results. But the reward is big since we target a lifelong success with dental implants, which according to long-term studies is also realistic. Patients treated with dental implants will never be left on their own. We accompany our patients with regular check-ups and cleaning appointments.
This article was written by Dr. Dominique Laatz who works at The German Dental & Dermatology Center and has a Masters of Science degree in both Implantology and Periodontology.
Overall, dental implants at German Dental Center are an excellent option to explore. If you’re seeking expert advice and services related to dental implants in Doha, Qatar, feel welcome to contact the qualified and caring professionals at the German Dental & Dermatology Center today at Madinat Khalifa (North) or visit us online to schedule an appointment and discuss your options with our team of German board-certified doctors.