How long does a dental implant last?
November 29, 2018
Whether you have lost a single tooth, or you have several gaps in your smile, whether you are looking to replace an existing prosthetic tooth or getting one for the very first time, dental implants can transform the function and appearance of your teeth, and the way that you feel about your smile. Tooth loss may not sound like a serious problem, but if the gap is in a noticeable or awkward location, you may find that you need to change the way you eat, speak and even smile. This can make patients feel unattractive, awkward, self-conscious, ashamed and even depressed.
While there are several different options for treating tooth loss, dental implants are considered to be by far the most effective, most attractive and most long-lasting of them all. In the past, the costs involved with dental implants made them an impossible choice for many patients, but thankfully they are now more affordable than ever before. Even still, they are expensive and so if you are opting for dental implants you will want to be sure that they are a good investment.
How do dental implants work?
Dental implants have two main components that are held together with a special connector known as an abutment. These components are:
A porcelain crown. This is created specifically for the patient in a shape, size and shade that fits with the existing teeth so that the implant is as discreet as possible.
A titanium post. This forms the implanted section of the solution and is inserted into the jaw bone via the gum at a pre-determined location beneath the gap in your smile. After it has been placed, the bone and gum tissue will grow around the implanted post so that it is anchored permanently and securely in place. This process is called osseointegration and takes a number of months to complete.
Implants can be placed individually, or in the case of several missing teeth, implant posts can be used to support a bridge, partial or full dentures. When multiple teeth are to be replaced, these can usually be supported on far fewer implant posts and it may be possible to have a full arch of dentures on just six implanted posts.
How long can implants last?
Dental implants have a reputation as being one of the most robust and long-lasting solutions for missing teeth and not without reason. Studies have shown that with the proper care, a dental implant could last several decades or longer, which makes them a fantastic investment in the function and appearance of your smile. However, exactly how long your implants will last really does depend on how well you look after them.
You will need to be committed to a robust dental hygiene routine that involves brushing, flossing and using mouthwash. Gum disease that is left untreated can compromise the longevity of implants, but by taking good care of your teeth you can minimize the likelihood of developing gum problems. You will also need to visit your dentist at the recommended frequency. Your dentist will not only check for cavities, but will also assess your mouth for any signs of gum disease so that treatment can be started promptly if required.
Certain habits can also put your implants at risk. These include smoking, using your teeth as tools such as to open bottles, or grinding your teeth at night. These will be things that your implant provider speaks to you about at your consultation appointment.
If you are interested in finding out more about dental implants or have further questions about how long they last and what you will need to do to get the very best from them, please don’t hesitate to contact our offices.