How long do implants last?

A recently published long-term study highlights the importance of giving evidence-based information to patients before they consent to an implant-supported restorative treatment plan.

This clinical study reviewed 10,871 implants placed by the same periodontist in 4247 patients, during a 22-year follow-up period. Implant level failure meant the removal of an implant for any reason; patient level failure meant at least one implant failure during the follow-up period. Here are the key findings:

  • The cumulative survival rate was 96.7 percent at 5 years, 92.5 percent at 10 years and 86 percent at 15 years.
  • At 10 years, more failures occurred in patients with multiple implants than in single implant cases (survival rates of 90.2 versus 98.2 percent, comparing multiple versus single).
  • Failure rates were higher for shorter versus longer implants.
  • Failure rates were higher for implant treatment combined with guided bone regeneration procedures.
  • Patients who were diabetics or heavy smokers experienced a greater implant failure rate.
  • The overall incidence of peri-implantitis remained quite low (under 3.3 percent) for the first seven years but rose to 7.1 percent during years 8 to 10.

These study data are within the rates reported elsewhere in the literature, and should help patients and clinicians form realistic expectations for the outcome of implant treatment. The long-term follow-up should give practitioners more confidence when recommending this level of treatment for fully or partially edentulous patients.

French, D. et al. Clin Implant Dent Relat Res 2021, 23:289-297

Original article:

Clinical Significance: These findings will help dentists respond to a patient who asks “How long will this implant last?” Long-term prognosis can never be guaranteed, but the sample size and observation period in this study provide patients with a scientific answer to a critical treatment question.