Does a dental implant last forever? Are they permanent? If these are the questions running through your mind, it is important to note that nothing lasts forever. However, with proper care and maintenance, a dental implant can last for more than 25 years.
Dental implants are actually designed to be a permanent tooth replacement option. Dental implants can support the dental structure and withstand chewing or biting without slipping because they are firmly attached to the jawbone.
Aside from replacing missing tooth/teeth, implant surgery also helps to restore the structure of your jawbone by reducing the load on the remaining teeth. This preserves your natural tooth tissue and prevents bone deterioration or resorption that may lead to jawbone loss.
A dental implant looks and feels exactly like your natural teeth and can help improve your confidence and self-esteem. Patients with gaps in between their teeth as a result of tooth loss can smile with pride after receiving a dental implant procedure. Besides its aesthetic value, implant surgery makes it easier for you to eat and speak because the implant post is secured firmly into your jawbone.
Nevertheless, there are several alternatives for implant surgery, which include dental bridges, dentures, dental crowns, mini-implants, etc. It is beneficial to recognize the advantages of dental implants over other tooth replacement options as well as how long dental implants last.
To fully understand the question “do dental implants last forever,” it is important to understand the components of a dental implant. Here are the three basic components of an affordable dental implant:
- Implant – This is the root-like part of the implant. It is the post, usually made of titanium, which is surgically inserted into the jawbone of a patient. In a nutshell, the implant functions as a root for the prosthetics – crown or bridge.
- Abutment – The abutment is screwed onto the implant. It stays above the gum line and holds the prosthetics in place.
- Crown – This is the part that looks like the natural tooth. The crown is mostly made of ceramic and is fastened to the abutment to mimic the natural tooth.
Generally, the exposed parts of the affordable dental implant – abutment and crown – are more susceptible to deterioration and damages than the implant itself. That is, the titanium post may last almost a lifetime while the crown may last about 15 to 25 years considering the care and maintenance that it receives.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
You may have heard that dental implants can last for about 25 years or more. This is true as long as you take adequate care of them. Note that the longevity of your dental implant depends on several factors, which include:
- Your oral practices. How well you take care and maintain your dental implant, like brushing and flossing at least twice daily and making a biannual visit to the dental office, will influence how long your dental implant will last.
- How you use your teeth. Chewing or biting hard on hard items, and also opening crown cork with your teeth will negatively affect the lifespan of your implant.
- How skillful the dentist who managed the implant is. If your implant surgery is handled by a well-trained and experienced dentist, your dental implant would last longer. This is because professional dentists know how to place the implant perfectly, evaluate the osseointegration progress and determine if your jawbone has completely fused with the implant.
- Location of the implant. The location of the dental implant in your mouth will also determine the longevity of your dental implant. For instance, implants positioned at the back of the mouth will receive more pressure due to chewing than those positioned in the front. As a result, the implant at the back of the mouth may fail more quickly than those at the front of the mouth.
- Your general oral health and lifestyle. Patients who smoke or drink heavily are at a higher risk of experiencing implant failure than non-smokers and non-drinkers. Hence, in order to ensure that your dental implant lasts as long as possible, refrain from smoking and drinking heavily before and after the placement of the implant.
If you have further questions about the dental implant procedure, contact us or schedule a visit with any of our professional dentists for answers. We are always here for you.
Why Do Dental Implants Fail?
As stated above, dental implants are actually designed to be a permanent tooth replacement option when properly maintained. However, there are some factors that can possibly cause the dental implant to fail prematurely. Diabetic patients or patients suffering from pre-existing medical conditions like cancer are at a higher risk of having dental implant failure.
Poor oral hygiene practices can also lead to dental implant failure. As with your natural teeth, you must maintain your dental implants by brushing and flossing them regularly. Poor oral hygiene practices can lead to gum disease – gingivitis or periodontal disease, which can subsequently lead to dental implant failure. Gum disease causes the gingiva to recede, thereby exposing the roots of the teeth and gradually damaging the gingival tissues that secure them within the jawbone. Preventing gingivitis and periodontal disease can greatly increase the longevity of your dental implants.
Inflamed gums, bleeding, and pain while brushing or flossing are some of the signs and symptoms of gum disease. Don’t hesitate to visit a professional dentist as soon as notice any of these symptoms to ensure the longevity of your natural teeth and dental implant.
If you want to learn more about dental implants and proper oral hygiene practices, feel free to contact us. At Restoration Smiles, we offer affordable dental implant procedures and use the latest dental tools and techniques to achieve the best results. Our specialist dentists are well trained to handle your implant surgery effectively, and once your implant is placed, we will ensure that you receive a beautiful dental restoration. Kindly contact us today to schedule a dental implant appointment with our top and renowned specialists.