Are you considering implants to replace your missing tooth? This option is an excellent way to restore the natural look of a smile and requires only regular oral hygiene maintenance. How long do implants usually last, though? Much like other aspects of dentistry, this largely depends on how well the patient takes care of their teeth and gums and their dietary choices. This article will discuss how long an implant may last, factors that can influence its longevity, and more.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are titanium-based posts that act as a replacement for the root of missing teeth. The implant is surgically placed into the jawbone, and then it can be used to hold a restoration like a crown or bridge in place.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants are designed with longevity in mind. Through a process called osseointegration, these implants fuse directly with your jaw bone forming a permanent bond that allows for long-term use.
The healing process of osseointegration is a marvel, as it allows the material of the implant and surrounding bone to blend together. This provides an ideal base for an artificial tooth root and is essential in providing a strong foundation for prosthetic teeth.
Although the dental implant is created to be permanent, it’s possible that after 15-20 years of regular use, 50% to 80% of crowns may require replacement.
Normal wear and tear can cause this need for a new crown over time.
What can affect the lifespan of dental implants?
Dental implant longevity can vary greatly based on a patient’s oral health habits, diet choices, and overall lifestyle. Let’s discuss these factors in detail.
Injury or damage
Despite dental implants being an everlasting and strong treatment option, the ceramic crowns that accompany them can be brittle and breakable. Much like your natural teeth, they are not immune to chips or cracking due to circumstances over which you may have no control.
Dental crowns may be damaged in a variety of ways, including but not limited to:
- Using your teeth to open plastic packaging or bottles
- Eating sticky foods
- Chewing hard substances like ice
- Facial injuries
Which teeth are replaced
Your dental implant’s longevity depends upon the specific tooth being replaced and its position, as each of your teeth has a distinct role to play with respect to mastication, ingestion, biting and talking. To illustrate this point further – those located at the rear of your oral cavity are especially employed for chewing food more often than other teeth and thus experience greater pressure on them.
Unbeknown to many, grinding teeth can severely reduce the longevity of dental implants. This condition is known as bruxism, and it occurs when you clench your jaw and grind your teeth with enormous force. Over time, this puts immense pressure on natural teeth, which could lead to chips or cracks forming in them. Thankfully, this problem can be addressed easily by wearing a removable mouth guard during sleep, thereby preventing any unnecessary damage from occurring to one’s smile!
Further, bruxism can be extremely detrimental to dental implant success. If not addressed prior to treatment, it may cause your implants to fail during recovery or even after healing is complete. Therefore, if you suspect that bruxism could be an issue for you before undergoing a dental implant procedure, make sure that this risk factor gets added to your care plan by discussing it with your dentist.
It is important to be mindful of your lifestyle choices, such as smoking excessively, when considering dental implant treatment. Your body requires adequate blood flow to the area where the implants are placed in order for them to heal properly. Unfortunately, nicotine has a negative effect on blood vessels and oxygen levels which can hinder recovery and reduce how long your dental implants last. Smoking dramatically increases the risk of producing bacterial plaque, which eventually develops into gum disease if left untreated. The lack of oxygen in your bloodstream due to smoking also hinders proper healing and can lead to infection if you were to smoke during implant recovery. Thus, it is strongly advised that people who are considering dental implants quit smoking prior to undergoing treatment for a successful outcome!
If you have had a dental implant placed, be sure to care for them just as you would your original teeth. Your titanium root must effectively fuse into place in order for the procedure to succeed, so it is important that both your gums and jawbone are strong and healthy. Prior to an implant being inserted, any gum disease will need to be addressed by the dentist, and they can also assess if your jawbone is thick enough for an implant application.
All in all, it is crucial to maintain excellent oral hygiene. Regularly brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing as recommended can help protect against plaque accumulation and maintain your gums in a healthy state.
How to maintain tooth implants?
Even if your pearly whites are artificial, it is essential that you still go to regular dental check-ups. Not only will the dentist evaluate your oral well-being, but also examine any problems with your implants. It’s simple to detect any flaws or harm on the crown, and your dentist will collaborate with you in order to find the most suitable solution. It’s vital to keep up with this schedule as it could prevent more severe issues from arising in future visits!
Maximising the lifespan of your teeth implants starts with using them only for their intended purpose – chewing and eating food. Anything else, such as attempting to open bottles or plastic packaging, puts undue strain on the implants, which will reduce their longevity over time. Utilise other tools instead so that you can keep those implants in tip-top shape!
The longevity of dental implants truly depends on the patient and their commitment to dental hygiene. Taking care of your teeth and maintaining excellent overall health can help ensure that your dental implants last as long as possible.
Get quality dental implants at Beyond 32 Dental
At Beyond 32 Dental, we offer comprehensive dental implant services that are tailored to your needs and budget. Our experienced dentists will evaluate your unique situation and create a personalised care plan to ensure the success of your treatment. Book your appointment or call us on (02) 9158 6334 today to learn more about our range of dental implant solutions.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
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