The loss of dental implants continues to increase with the rising popularity of dental implants, but our understanding of why implants are lost has not progressed. In regard to early implant loss, there are as many proposed explanations as there are practitioners with no consensus. In regard to late implant loss, the diagnosis is invariably periimplantitis with no consideration given to potential causes other than bacterial. This lack of a clear etiology of implant loss at any time frame has prevented our profession from changing what can be done differently to predictably reduce the incidence of implant loss.
Determining what therapies have the best treatment outcomes and what variables contribute to the most failures is also a very big concern in medicine. As a result, major heath institutions perform detailed data collection and analysis to determine what produces the best treatment outcomes and identify what variables can be controlled to avoid failures. When a healthcare institution collects data to determine what works and what contributes to failure in the treatment of a specific disease, every possible factor is evaluated. All comorbidities, all medications, all patient specifics, down to the age training and experience of the surgeons are evaluated without bias to find out what works and what doesn’t. Fortunately for dentistry, this methodology has now been applied to dental implantology at two major health institutions with the results as follows:
The following study was performed at the Mayo Clinic: