Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Implant Risk Factors : Implant Fracture

Any experienced implant practitioner would have seen a good number of failures. From a surgical standpoint, success rate can be well over 90%. It’s not difficult to achieve such success rates because all that is needed to determine success of the implant is osseointegration - the process whereby bone grows onto the implant surface and “fuses” with it. This implant can then be loaded with a crown.

What happens after loading? It’s just like what happens after marriage. Nobody can be certain as many factors come into play. There are patients with poor oral hygiene. There are patients who grind their teeth at night. There are patients who love to chew on bones to get to the marrow. There are patients who abuse their teeth in ways we can’t even imagine. Practitioners who handle restorations and follow up over a period of time will be able to tell you that implants restorations can be highly problematic over the long term. Some patients will be quite happy with their implant restorations. Some will need to see their dentist every few months for some adjustments. The most common problems are screw coming loose, gum inflammation, bone loss, exposed threads. Sometimes, we see porcelain fracture. Sometimes, we get fractured abutments, fractured screws and even fractured implants. Practitioners who have not had any of such problems on their hands probably haven’t done enough implants.

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