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A complex case of implant failure

15 July 2014
A combination of factors leads to success or failure in any complicated case. Taking care at the planning stage will help to swing the odds in your favour...

A patient was referred by a prosthodontist to a surgeon following a clearance. The surgeon harvested bone and undertook a sinus floor lift. Subsequently a number of implants were placed, but unfortunately the implants were lost.

An infection was associated with the implants causing a loss of bone and the patient eventually developed an oro-nasal fistula. The implants were removed and closure of the fistula undertaken. A further bone grafting procedure and osteotomy were required, but the bone grafts subsequently became infected.

A third operation was necessary to remove the infected bone. The oro-nasal fistula re-occurred and further attempts failed to close it surgically. The problems probably started in this patient’s case with an inappropriate treatment plan rather than with any failures in its execution, bearing in mind the patient’s overall condition.

Learning point:
Success or failure with implants is not usually dependent on any single factor, but on a combination of factors. Careful treatment planning reduces failure by eliminating those unsuitable cases.
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