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Dental implants frequently lead to complications

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Almost 8 percent of patients experience loss of at least one implant within ten years. Even more develop peri-implantitis. Patients with periodontitis run a greater risk of both implant loss and peri-implantitis. A doctoral thesis at Sahlgrenska Academy has explored the various issues.

Approximately 30,000 Swedes receive dental implant therapy every year. The method is common in connection with partial or full edentulism (toothlessness), and Sweden is among the countries with the most dental implants per capita.

Biological complications

Previous evaluations have frequently been limited to observational studies of patient populations in specialist dental care. Few attempts have been made to analyze biological complications such as peri-implantitis, which is characterized by inflammation in adjacent tissues and loss of supporting jawbone.

A national project evaluated the therapy in terms of patient-reported outcomes, implant loss and prevalence of peri-implantitis.

High degree of satisfaction

"The results of the initial questionnaire survey, which included 4,716 randomly selected patients, indicated a high degree of satisfaction, particularly among men and older respondents," says Jan Derks, researcher at Sahlgrenska Academy.

Developed peri-implantitis

A total of 596 patients at 37 Swedish clinics were examined at a 9-year follow-up.

"Altogether, 7.6 % of patients had lost at least one implant and 14.5 % had developed peri-implantitis with pronounced bone loss," Dr. Derks says.

Patients suffering from periodontitis exhibited an increased risk of severe peri-implantitis, while both periodontitis and smoking were associated with early implant loss.

Progresses quickly

"Peri-implantitis appears to develop within a few years and then progresses quickly and at an accelerating pace," Dr. Derks says.

The results of the study provide crucial input to both patients and dental practitioners in the effort to minimize the risk of implant loss and peri-implantitis.

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For additional information, feel free to contact:
Jan Derks, Researcher, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg
[email protected]

To full thesis: https://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/39544

Facts about the study:
The national project was conducted as a population-based cross-sectional study of 4,716 subjects randomly selected from the Social Insurance Agency register. All patients had received dental implant therapy in 2003-2004. In an initial survey, a questionnaire was sent to analyze patient-reported outcomes. Charts and radiographic data for 2,765 patients were obtained from approximately 800 dentists. A total of 596 patients at 37 Swedish clinics were examined at a 9-year follow-up.

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