If you have a tooth that is causing you problems, it’s still better to hold onto it when possible rather than replace it with a dental implant, according to a new review of long-term survival research.

Review of Research

The new study, published in the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) looked at all studies that included a 15-year or longer follow-up period. Although this limited the number of studies looked at, it allowed the authors to focus on real data about survival rates, rather than looking at projected rates or extrapolating rates based on estimates. There were 19 studies included, divided fairly evenly between studies looking at tooth survival (9 studies) and dental implant survival (10 studies).

The studies showed that the loss rate of natural teeth ranged from 3.6-13.4% and the loss rate of dental implants ranged from 0-33%. However, the studies were too different in their designs and data to allow the authors to combine their data into single estimates of survival rates.

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Preserve Your Natural Teeth

The primary goal of the review was to show that dental implant survival rates did not exceed that of natural teeth, even when compromised. The authors recommended that when you are facing the decision to restore a natural tooth with a dental crown or replace it with a dental implant, you should try to restore it first, according to researchers.

Restoring your teeth not only may give you longer-lasting results, you can always, if necessary, pull the tooth later and replace it with a dental implant then.

However, in some situations, it may be best to remove the tooth if preserving it puts you at risk for further complications and may jeopardize your jawbone or lead to a progressive infection.

To talk to an experienced implant dentist about options for dealing with a compromised tooth, please contact B&D Dental Excellence, serving Rockland County from West Nyack, New York.