Complications of dental implants: identification, frequency, and associated risk factors

Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants. 2003 Nov-Dec;18(6):848-55.


Purpose: This study sought to identify the types, frequencies, and risk factors associated with complications following placement of dental implants. It was hypothesized that one or more factors could be identified that are associated with an increased risk for complications and may be modified by the clinician to enhance outcome.

Materials and methods: A retrospective cohort study design was used that included patients who received Bicon implants (Bicon, Boston, MA) between 1992 and 2000. Predictor variables were grouped into demographic, medical history, implant-specific, anatomic, prosthetic, and reconstructive categories. Complications were grouped into inflammatory, prosthetic, operative, and major or minor categories. Cox proportional hazards regression models were developed to identify risk factors for complications.

Results: The sample was composed of 677 patients. The overall frequency of implant complications was 13.9% (10.2% inflammatory, 2.7% prosthetic, 1.0% operative), of which 53% were minor. The multivariate Cox model revealed that smoking, use of 1-stage implants, and reconstructive procedures were statistically associated with an increased risk for overall complications (P < or = .05). The median duration of follow-up was 13.1 months (range 0 to 85.6 months).

Discussion: A lower frequency of complications was found compared to mean frequencies calculated from past reports. Investigations examining the influence of smoking and reconstructive procedures on implant complications are recommended.

Conclusion: Of the 3 factors associated with an increased risk for complications, tobacco use and implant staging may be modified by the clinician to enhance outcome.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alveolar Ridge Augmentation / adverse effects
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dental Implantation, Endosseous / adverse effects
  • Dental Implants / adverse effects*
  • Dental Implants / statistics & numerical data
  • Dental Prosthesis Design / adverse effects
  • Dental Prosthesis, Implant-Supported / adverse effects
  • Dental Restoration Failure
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Dental Implants