Dental implants have revolutionized dentistry and have an amazing track record. Implants have been shown to have a 95% long term success rate in tightly controlled academic studies. However, when examining success rates in the real world, some studies have shown five year success rates as low as 81%. What causes the difference? Some blame can be placed with aftermarket implant parts, which weaken the implant-crown complex.
There are three main parts to an implant used as an individual tooth replacement. The implant itself is placed into the bone, with the top of the implant placed at bone level. The abutment is secured to the implant with a small screw, and the abutment extends from the bone to the level of the gums. The crown is cemented to the abutment, and is the part visible above the gumline. Using the same company’s implant, abutment, and screw is called an “integrated system,” and ensures that the implant-crown complex is as strong as possible. Integrated systems have been engineered with certain materials, coatings, and tolerances that work together to enhance strength and fracture resistance.
Aftermarket implant parts are compatible with many different implant brands. However, these compatible parts don’t reproduce the perfect fit and strength of integrated systems. This is because aftermarket manufacturers do not know the exact tolerances that were used by the original company. Tests have shown that aftermarket parts can decrease the strength of the implant-crown complex by 15 to 45 percent. These weakened implants are much more likely to encounter screw loosening or abutment fracture. And although implants are a wonderful treatment option, implant failures are very difficult to fix.
At Enamor Dentistry, Dr. Melander only works with specialists that place name brand implants, and then restores the implant with an integrated system. The abutments he uses are always made by the same company that made the implant, ensuring the strongest implant-crown complex possible. If you need a North Scottsdale dentist and would like to know more about dental implants, please give Enamor Dentistry a call!