Lifespan of a Dental Implant

Lifespan of a Dental Implant

Dental implants are considered the optimal treatment option for people who are missing one or more natural teeth, and, with the proper care, they can last for 25 years or longer. Dental implants cost more than other dental restoration options, but they carry benefits that can’t be derived from many other treatments. Dental implants look like natural, luminous teeth, and they are securely supported by the jawbone, helping make them a permanent dental replacement option that functions just as well as healthy natural teeth. When placed by a qualified oral surgeon in conjunction with a comprehensive dental implant team, and with proper care and maintenance from the implant patient, dental implants are dependable and convenient and can be a permanent solution for missing natural teeth. The long-term success of dental implants relies significantly on the patient’s adherence to the aftercare plan and their commitment to proper oral hygiene, so the patient is largely in control of the return on their investment in their smile.

The term dental implant is used to refer to a dental restoration that relies on a surgically implanted post to support a dental prosthetic. The dental implant itself is a tiny cylindrical post, usually made of titanium, that is surgically implanted deep into the jawbone so that just the tip of the implant post emerges through the gums. As the bone that surrounds the implant post heals, it fuses with the implant post in a process that is called osseointegration. This process takes at least a couple of months and may take longer, but it is the most important part of the success of the dental implant. When the bone has healed and the implant and bone are solidly connected, the dental implant is topped with a component called an abutment, which screws onto the top of the implant, sits atop the gums, and serves as the attachment base for the dental prosthetic. In some dental implants, the abutment is built into the implant post, but in the majority of dental implant treatments, the abutment is screwed on after the implant post has healed. In a standard dental implant procedure, a dental crown is attached to the abutment after it is placed and after the gums have had a week or two to heal. Dental crowns are crafted from ceramic material that matches the tone and luminosity of the remaining natural teeth, and when they are attached to dental implants, they look, feel, and act just like a healthy natural tooth with a stable root that supports it. When necessary and appropriate, implant procedures can also use a single dental implant to support a row of teeth, and some implant treatments entail using as few as two dental implants as a foundation for an entire row of teeth.

The lifespan of a dental implant is commonly 25 years or more, which is considerably longer than most other dental restoration options. The longevity of dental implants is affected directly by oral hygiene, diet, lifestyle, the dentist who placed the implants, and the location of the implant in the mouth. Advanced gum disease is characterized by bone loss, which seriously compromises dental implants, and gum disease is caused by inadequate or improper oral hygiene. Therefore, patients with excellent oral hygiene practices can reasonably expect their implants to last as long as possible. Dental implants can be cleaned at home the same way natural teeth are, with a proper oral hygiene routine. This routine includes brushing at least twice daily, using a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush and brushing in gentle circular motions, taking extra care to softly brush plaque away from the gum line; flossing at least once a day; and visiting the dentist in recommended intervals for checkups and professional cleanings. Dental implant crowns can still accumulate tartar that can lead to gum disease, and a dental hygienist will use specialized tools to clean away tartar while protecting the surface of the artificial tooth. Implants that are placed by a skilled, experienced dental specialist can also be expected to last longer.

Dental implants help preserve the structures of the mouth in a few different ways. When a person is missing teeth, the pressure applied during chewing is distributed unevenly across the teeth, the gums, and the bone in the jaw. This causes damage to the tissues and structures in the mouth when it continues over time. Dental implants restore the balance to the mouth, protecting the bones and other teeth from further damage, and they also stimulate the health of the bone that surrounds them as they bite and chew. This helps prevent the sunken appearance that can overtake the lower face in the absence of jawbone stimulation and the supporting structures of natural teeth.

Dental implants provide numerous benefits, but there can be some downsides. For most people, however, the pros of dental implants far exceed the cons. Benefits of dental implants include improved appearance of the face and smile, which can help boost self-esteem and confidence, and their stability helps restore the wearer’s ability to speak clearly and eat a variety of nutritious foods, abilities that can be compromised when teeth are missing or when removable dentures are used. Dental implants are comfortable and convenient; the same can’t be said of removable dentures, which can rub the gums and cause painful sores and which must be removed for cleaning and soaking. Dental implants also stimulate and maintain healthy bone tissue, improving the structure of the jaw and the overall health of the oral cavity. They are extremely durable, and when they are cared for properly, they have proven to be a worthwhile investment for millions of people.

Of course, dental implants can be adversely affected by unnatural wear and tear. While a dental implant behaves like a natural tooth, allowing their wearer to safely chew and tear fibrous or dense foods, using the teeth for anything other than eating could damage the dental implant. Don’t use your teeth, whether they’re natural teeth or not, to open bottles or tear packages, and don’t chew on pens or other plastics, or anything that isn’t meant to be chewed or swallowed. Smoking is particularly bad for the oral cavity. The act of sucking while inhaling dries out the mouth while introducing harmful chemicals into the mouth, and smoking inhibits the body’s ability to fight infection, leading to a significantly increased risk of gum disease and implant failure. Excessive alcohol consumption also contributes to gum disease and weakened immunity. Additionally, some medical conditions like diabetes, autoimmune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer, and certain medications can shorten the lifespan of a dental implant. Be honest and forthright with your dentist about all your habits and any medical conditions you may deal with; for most people, implants can still be an option, but addressing risk factors will be part of your overall treatment.