Dental Implant Success: What are the Factors that Can Affect It?

Despite the dramatic improvements in dental care, people around the world still experience tooth loss. Fortunately, a breakthrough and innovative treatment option is now available for those who have lost a tooth (or more). This new treatment option that has become a go-to treatment for many nowadays is called dental implant procedure.

Basically, dental implants act as replacement tooth roots. The dental implant procedure works by providing a strong foundation for removable or fixed (permanent) replacement teeth. Dental implants are also designed to function and look like the natural teeth. The dental implant procedure has become widely popular because of its high success rate.

However, there are also very rare instances of dental implant failure. While the percentage is very small (around 5 to 10 percent), several factors can affect its outcome. Some of the key factors that can affect dental implant success include:

Medical Conditions

Dental implant failure is possible when you have certain conditions such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. It is also possible for the implant to fail if you suffer from an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune conditions will cause the body to heal at a slower pace. Slow healing can also impact osseointegration—the fusing of the implant and the bones.

The use of some medications may also lead to dental implant failure. That said, it is crucial that you inform your dentist if you are taking prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements. Some studies indicate that medication for heartburn can hinder the growth of new bones.

Understandably, this can also affect how the dental implant will fuse with the jawbone. Another study indicated the same results in people who took antidepressant medications.

Gum Disease

For the dental implant procedure to be successful, having healthy gums is a must. You will not also be allowed to get the procedure if you have active gum disease. Gum disease is an infection that can cause damage to both your gums and jawbones.

In the event that an untreated infection develops around the implant, a dental implant failure is also likely to happen. In similar cases, you should inform your dentist about possible problems before you proceed with the procedure.


Smoking may also lead to dental failure since it restricts the flow of blood to your gums. This also slows down the healing process significantly. Many studies have also shown that smokers have at least a 20 percent chance of experiencing dental implant failure.

However, if you are a smoker, you won’t be automatically ineligible to get dental implants. You will have a better chance of success if you stop smoking for a few weeks before your procedure. You should also not smoke for at least 2 months after.

Insufficient Jawbone

A successful dental implant procedure will also require that you have enough bone to support your implant. Without sufficient bone, the surgeon won’t be able to place the implant in your bone successfully.

Osteoporosis can also cause bone loss. The condition also occurs when the bone’s density decreases. The condition can also cause bones to become fragile. When this occurs, there is a higher risk for fractures to occur. Severe gum disease can also cause the deterioration of the bones found in the mouth.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Your ability to adhere to good oral practices can also impact the success of the procedure. In some cases, you will not be considered a good candidate for the procedure if there are things that can affect your range of motion or can affect your ability to clean your teeth accordingly.