Obstructive Sleep Apnea May be One of the Reasons Behind Dental Implant Related Complications

It is often said by dental experts that dental implants have an excellent success rate, and a virtually

It is often said by dental experts that dental implants have an excellent success rate, and a virtually infinite clinical life. Despite that, failure of dental implants and their supported prostheses, is not very uncommon. According to a research, 40% of implant failures occur during osseointegration, while the remaining 60% failure cases of implants and their prosthetic complications are observed after the implants have been loaded with a prosthesis[1].

The primary reasons behind failure of implant therapy include failure of osseointegration, and excessive loading of the implants. However, A recent research published in the Journal of Oral Implantology[2] in 2017, has presented another interesting finding regarding the prosthetic complications in dental implants. According to the research, prosthetic complications with implant-supported prostheses can arise in patients who have obstructive sleep apnea.

How Was the Study Performed?

The research was performed on 172 (61 ± 10 years age) patients who were examined for obstructive sleep apnea at sleep disorder units. Among them, all 69 patients who had implant supported prostheses, were included in the study. Simplified respiratory polygraphy was performed on the patients at their homes. In addition, cutaneous pulse oximeter was performed with the help of a finger probe to assess the oxygen saturation of the patients. The recordings were interpreted according to the criteria of Spanish Respiratory Association (a drop in the respiratory signal of more than 90% during a minimum of 10 seconds was recorded as sleep apnea) 

The Results

A total of 16 patients with implants (having a total of 22 prostheses) had 30 cases of prosthetic complications. Among them, 14 events of porcelain fracture, 8 events of implant/screw failure, 3 cases of screw loosening and 5 events of documentation were observed during the course of the study.

The follow-up time for each implant case was 117 ± 90 (range: 10 to 279 months) months. As expected, most cases of implant failure occurred. It took an average of 73 ± 65 months (range: 5 to 272 months) for complications to arise in patients with implant supported prostheses.


[1] Esposito, Marco, et al. “Biological factors contributing to failures of osseointegrated oral implants,(II). Etiopathogenesis.” European journal of oral sciences 106.3 (1998): 721-764.

[2] Anitua, Eduardo, et al. “Frequency of prosthetic complications related to implant-borne prosthesis in a sleep disorder unit.” Journal of Oral Implantology 43.1 (2017): 19-23.