Lifespan of Dental Implants Q&A
With proper care and exemplary dental hygiene, your dental implant could last for the rest of your lifetime. To learn more about the factors that influenced the lifespan of dental implants by visit us at Beyond Dental & Implant Center. For more information, call us or visit us online to book an appointment. We are accepting new patients in both our convenient locations in Dallas TX, and Fort Worth TX.
Table of Contents:
How does a dental implant work?
How long do dental implants last?
What are the factors that affect the lifespan of an implant?
Understanding the lifespan of dental implants
A dental implant is a structure that is surgically placed into the jawbone to replace the root of a missing tooth. The posts in the implant are made from titanium, a light but strong metal that fuses with the bone to provide optimal security without damaging the teeth; in addition, the materials used in dental implants can’t decay making them especially durable.
During dental implantation, the dentist makes a cut in the gum to expose the bone. Holes are drilled into the bone where the post will serve as the tooth’s root. There will still be a gap where the tooth is missing, and a temporary denture can be fitted for appearance if required. This denture can be removed for cleaning at night.
Once the posts have sufficiently fused with the jawbone (which can take several months) an abutment (or extension) is attached to the implant via another incision in the gum, and the gum is then closed around it. The abutment can be attached to the post at the time the post is inserted, saving the need for an extra visit, but because it juts out past the gumline it can be seen when the mouth is open. It will be like that for about two weeks until the prosthetic tooth is fitted and because of this, some people choose to have the abutment placed in a separate procedure. Once the gums have healed, a further set of impressions are taken and used to make the crown.
With good oral hygiene and regular checkups, the implant screw itself can last a lifetime, but normal wear and tear mean that around 50 to 80% of crowns may need replacing in 15 to 20 years.
You can help to protect the dental implant and the remaining natural teeth by:
• Practicing excellent oral hygiene. Implants, artificial teeth and gum tissue, just like natural teeth, should be kept clean. Certain toothbrushes, such as an interdental brush that goes between the teeth, can be used to help clean the less accessible areas around the teeth as well as the gums and metal implant posts.
• Seeing your dentist regularly. Checkups are important to ensure the health and proper functioning of the implants and also that the patient is following the proper cleaning regimen.
• Avoiding damaging habits. Such as chewing hard things that can break the crown (or natural teeth), grinding (if this is the case treatment should be sought to address the problem), and avoiding tooth-staining tobacco and caffeine products.
The location of the implants also plays a part in their longevity: those placed in the rear of the mouth are used more forcefully in chewing, meaning they are likely to deteriorate more quickly than those placed near the front of the mouth.
Clearly, patients who practice excellent oral hygiene – brushing and flossing twice a day or more and getting regular preventive dental care – can expect their implants to last the longest. Unfortunately, in some cases, dental implants can fail, and understanding why this happens can mean proactive steps can be taken to prevent it.
Why dental implants fail:
• Wear and tear – Unreasonably hard use can impact the lifespan of an implant (or natural teeth), as in using them to remove bottle tops or corks, opening packages or crunching on hard candy, as well as the location of the implants as mentioned above.
• Unhealthy behaviors – Excessive smoking and alcohol consumption can do significant damage to the mouth, negatively impacting the integrity and longevity of implants.
• Medical Conditions – Certain diseases and medical conditions can lower the lifespan of implants by various different means. The most common ones are:
• Gum disease
• Autoimmune diseases
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Medications – Taking certain medications after first getting the implants can also impact their success and longevity.
If you would like to know more about our dental implant services, contact Beyond Dental & Implant Center today! We are accepting new patients in both our North Fort Worth and Dallas locations and serve patients from Dallas TX, Fort Worth TX, Cockrell Hill TX, Mesquite TX, Highland Park TX, Forest Hill TX, Saginaw TX, and White Settlement TX. We look forward to meeting you!
Additional Services You May Need
▸ Dental Implant
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▸ Neuromuscular Orthodontics
▸ All-On-4 Treatment Concept
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