dentist with dental implant model EY2SDUL min scaled | Elite Dental Group

What Can Affect Dental Implant Success?

dentist with dental implant model EY2SDUL min | Elite Dental Group

The metal post that is surgically attached to the jawbone is called a tooth implant or dental implant. Its primary purpose is to support the artificial tooth. Once in place, your dentist mounts the replacement tooth onto the implant.

While not many are aware of the ins and outs of dental implants like how much tooth implants cost and what the procedure is really all about, many are aware it has a very high success rate.

However, while dental implants have a very high success rate, some people can experience dental implant failure. An estimated five out of ten percent of tooth implants fail, either a few months after the procedure or years later.

If you are considered a good candidate for dental implants or if you already have an implant, it is important that you are aware of the possible factors that can affect dental implant success as well as the potential complications of the procedure.

Factors That Can Affect Tooth Implant Success

Several factors can affect the success of a dental implant significantly. Some of the possible factors include:


This might not be common knowledge but smoking can cause dental implant failure because it can restrict the flow of blood to the gums. When the flow of blood to the gums is restricted, the healing process can slow down significantly. Multiple research studies have indicated that the dental failure rate of people who smoke is 20 percent.

If you are a smoker, it does not always follow that you are ineligible for a dental implant. However, it goes without saying that you have a much better outcome if you stop smoking at least a week prior to the procedure. It is also recommended that you don’t smoke for at least two months after the implants have been placed.

Gum Disease

Health gums are required for a successful dental implant surgery. Suffice it to say, your dentist won’t allow the procedure when you have an active gum disease. Gum disease is an infection that damages the jaw bone and the gums. Left untreated, the infection can develop around the implant, resulting in dental implant failure. Expect that your dentist will have the gum disease treated first before you are allowed to get an implant.

Insufficient Jaw Bone

The success of a dental implant procedure will also depend if there is sufficient bone to support the implant. Without ample healthy bone, your dentist won’t be able to surgically place the implant in the jaw.

Certain conditions like osteoporosis may also lead to bone loss. The condition often occurs when there is a decrease in bone density. Bones usually become fragile. When it happens, the risk of fractures also increases. Severe gum disease that is left untreated may also lead to deterioration of the bones found in the mouth.

Medical Conditions

Another factor that can significantly affect the success of a dental implant procedure is the presence of certain medical conditions. Medical conditions or autoimmune diseases like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis can cause the body to heal at a slower pace compared to healthy individuals.

Slow healing can also hinder osseointegration, the process where the implant integrates or fuses with the jaw bone. The use of certain medications like over-the-counter drugs or prescription medications may also affect the success of your dental implant procedure.

That said, consider it best to inform your dentist of any medications you are taking prior to the procedure. A McGill University study conducted in 2016 revealed that heartburn medications can lessen bone growth. This also affects how the implant fuses or integrates with the jaw bone.

Dr. Gerald Tan