Dental Implants vs Bridge Work

Implants are the rave today in dentistry! If you break a tooth off or loose a tooth you can have an implant. Here are some facts you need to know for an informed decision:

In 2017 the implant studies showed a 15% failure of all dental implants for various reasons. It was 88% a few years before that and 95% 10 years before that.

That failure rate today (2020) is much high at around 25%. This is expected to rise to close to 30% or in next the 5 years.

So the question is why the increase in failures per year? First and foremost is that today there are over 4 million implants now being placed per year. There is going to be more failures just by the shear numbers being placed. That means a million are removed per year.

Before the implant failure studies were all smaller controlled studies with vastly less numbers of implants included thousands rather than millions in the studies. But as time went on there were more and more people added to the groups. Therefore, the old studies were not showing as broad spectrum of people.

The average cost of a implant and crown is $4,800-$9,000. The average start of failure is at seven to eight years post placement. But I have seen cases fail at a month to 25 years.

Currently, treating implantitis , a form of gum disease on implants has varying success. Early recognition is key every three months they should be evaluated and cleaned.

Dental schools in more cases and individuals have gone back to the bridges because it is a more predictable results which lasts longer in certain situations compared to implants. I agree with them from the shear number of implants I see failing on a yearly basis in Rapid City. This is not to say I am against implants, but we need to look at these other options for the long run versus the short haul. The rave can turn into a nightmare, and I’d like to avoid that if at all possible.

Some cases are easy to predict success or failure. Some are not. There are over twenty different reasons that can and do cause failure. There is a wide variety of reasons: the most common reason is poor oral hygiene.

Then of course going down the list there’s: autoimmune problems, rejection do to titanium oxides, foreign body reactions, periodontal disease of implants, autoimmune problems, rejection due to titanium oxides, foreign body reactions, missed three month checkups, screws loose, poor placement or nowhere to place them in good bone, poor bone quality osteoporosis or osteopenia, cement under the implants (rarer today),  poorly made abutment from manufacturers dentist or dental laboratories.

These are just part of the reasons why implants fail.

At Rushmore Dental we would be more then happy to discuss the options of implants and bridges and see which is best fit for you.

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